The Light of Unexpected Angels is the first recording by Sospiri and features a showcase of John Duggan's choral work as well as tracks by Britten, Anerio, Josquin, Poulenc and Richard Lloyd. John says:
'We recorded this in early 2007 in the chapel at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, with Libby Burgess (http://www.elizabethburgess.com/) as our producer. At the time we were such a small group that Chris (Watson) directed from within the group, managing to sing at the same time. A marvellous piece of multitasking!'
This collection also features John's setting of the William Blake poem 'The Sick Rose', which is not available on the CD
Sospiri recorded this CD at the wonderful Abbaye Notre Dame des Dombes near Lyon in France in September, 2007. We were invited to the Abbey by the Communauté du Chemin-Neuf and we spent a fun-packed few days singing and recording there. The Abbey church is set in the quiet countryside just north of Lyon and has a rich and resonant acoustic. It was the ideal space to record this mixture of plainsong and polyphonic medieval and renaissance settings of Christmas texts, including the six-part setting of Videte Miraculum (Behold the miracle of the mother of the Lord) by Thomas Tallis. The disc includes my setting of the French carol La Ballade de Jésus Christ (SATB). The tune appears in the English Hymnal with the text 'Let all mortal flesh keep silent'.
One of the out-takes from the sessions, included here, is my setting (SATB) of the Augustinian text: Tu excitas ut laudare. I was fortunate to hear a sermon preached by Liz Carmichael, the chaplain of St John's College, Oxford on this text, which was thought-provoking and inspirational. Whilst recording the track the tranquil calm of the Abbey was disrupted by a huge flock of seagulls. If you listen carefully in the closing 30 seconds of the piece you can hear them vying for attention.