scores by Bernard Hughes

scores by Bernard Hughes

Event Calendar

September 2015


  • St Magnus Festival performance

    A new chamber version of Bernard Hughes’s narrated family piece Bernard & Isabel will be premiered at the St Magnus Festival on 25 June 2015.

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  • Juice performance

    Bernard Hughes’s piece Does a Firm Perswasion that a Thing is So, Make it So? will receive another performance by the renowned experimental vocal trio Juice at 1.05pm on Wednesday 18 February 2015 at St Botolph-without-Bishopgate Church Hall,

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  • City Chamber Choir premiere

    Bernard Hughes’s choral setting of anyone lived in a pretty town is being premiered by City Chamber Choir on 5 March 2015

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  • Carol world premiere

    Bernard Hughes’s new carol Jesus, Springing will be premiered by the Vigala Singers, conducted by Joy Hill, at St James’s Church, Piccadilly in London on Thursday 18 December 2014.

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posted October 17, 2010

I must put in a recommendation for the recordings of an extraordinary Seattle-based choir called The Esoterics. In doing so I must also declare an interest: the choir recently gave an excellent performance of a new piece of mine, under their musical director Eric Banks, which I was lucky enough to be invited to Seattle to hear. While there, Eric kindly gave me a set of all the choirs recordings, made over the last decade, and I am working my way through them.

The Esoterics is an amateur choir of the highest standard, devoted entirely to performing contemporary choral music from America and around the world, to a very high standard. Their discs are themed – Ru’ia contains music inspired by Islam scripture and poetry, Ourania explores the theme of ‘the heavens’ – and many contain pieces by conductor Eric Banks. His work is learned and carefully conceived, often calling on his polymathic knowledge of foreign languages and cultures, but wears its learning lightly; primarily his music is a sensual experience, building subtly from simple harmonic ideas to textures of great complexity and beauty.

They have recently released a CD of the complete choral music of Samuel Barber, even in a couple of cases making accompanied music a cappella by giving the instrumental parts to singers. A highlight, inevitably, is the arrangement of the Adagio for Strings as an Agnus Dei, but the whole disc is full of surprises and delights.

As an ensemble that deserves to be celebrated around the world I can only suggest you buy their CDs for yourself and your friends. As an introduction to the delights of contemporary choral music they cannot be bettered, and in buying them you will help support The Esoterics work into the future.

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Categories: Reviews, Thoughts & Opinions | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Esoterica”

  1. tsanko Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Wonderful ..thanks a lot for posting a good informitive blog