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Berkeley: Collaborations

Berkeley: Collaborations

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When Michael Berkeley asked Neil Tennant for his thoughts on the direction of their recent song for Ukraine, "Zero Hour," Tennant casually suggested, "Put it on the next Michael Berkeley album of Collaborations". This offhand remark sparked an idea for Berkeley, reminding him of several pieces written over the years born out of collaborations with favourite musicians. The resulting new album, a compilation celebrating the extraordinary legacy of Michael Berkeley, showcases the composer's evolution from tonal choral writing to a more spare, linear language, exemplified by "The Magnolia Tree" and the keyboard pieces "Haiku 1: Birds" and "Haiku 2: Insects," dedicated to Clare Hammond and Mahan Esfahani, respectively. Amidst these sketch-like pieces is a poignant lament for solo violin, "Notes on the Loss of a Friend," an immediate and impulsive response to learning of Nicholas Snowman's sudden passing, a dear friend of Berkeley's and a great advocate of contemporary music. Berkeley's song cycle, "Speaking Silence," initially written for baritone David Wilson-Johnson, found new life with mezzo Alice Coote, championed by collaborator Julius Drake. The immediacy of live performances including "The Magnolia Tree," sit alongside further collaborations with esteemed artists and ensembles including the BBC Singers and conductor Owain Park. "Zero Hour" harkens back to Berkeley's earlier days as a pop musician, with this new track bringing together an illustrious lineup featuring Neil Tennant's vocals, David Gilmour's guitar solo, and production by Hugh Padgham (Sting and The Police) and Paul Wix Wickens (musical director of Paul McCartney's touring band).
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Product Description:


  • Release Date: July 05, 2024


  • UPC: 5060189563210


  • Catalog Number: ORC100321


  • Label: Orchid Classics


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Michael Berkeley


  • Performer: Clare Hammond, Madeleine Mitchell, Mahan Esfahani, Alice Coote, Julius Drake, Robert Plane, Rachel R