Precious Things: Choral Music by Bernard Hughes

Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader

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Precious Things: Choral Music by Bernard Hughes Review

by James Manheim

The music of Bernard Hughes is a bit less commonly encountered than that of other members of the English choral school, but it is quite appealing. The a cappella pieces here are quite short, many shorter than three minutes, and they are tonal in orientation. The texts mix classic and contemporary English poetry with sacred passages. The music is straightforward but not obvious; the text-setting is sensitive, and there are unexpected harmonic moves such as bitonal passages that resolve into a new thought in the text. The strongest feature here, although perhaps the hardest to define, is that the music seems ideally matched to the talents of the Epiphoni Consort, a group established to fill a space between the world of amateur and professional choirs in London. The choir's talents come close to the professional end of the dichotomy, and it has been quick to find recording opportunities. However, it is clear hearing this music that this is not a professional group; the choristers respond to the directness of the text in a way that bespeaks their origins outside the professional musical world. There is a real X factor here that makes this one of the most satisfying choral releases of 2022, and it was no surprise to see it climb onto best-seller charts in the spring of that year.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 03:37 Amazon
2 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 03:50 Amazon
Precious Things
3 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:42 Amazon
4 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:31 Amazon
5 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:07 Amazon
6 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 03:14 Amazon
7 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 03:30 Amazon
8 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 01:41 Amazon
9 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:56 Amazon
I Sing of Love
10 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 01:55 Amazon
11 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 03:29 Amazon
12 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 01:43 Amazon
13 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 03:41 Amazon
14 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 01:52 Amazon
15 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 04:04 Amazon
Two Songs of Spring
16 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:25 Amazon
17 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:12 Amazon
18 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 04:14 Amazon
A Ternary of Littles
19 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:29 Amazon
20 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 03:23 Amazon
21 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 02:06 Amazon
22 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 04:33 Amazon
23 Epiphoni Consort / Tim Reader 04:18 Amazon
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