In 2006 the women of Corinthian Singers performed pieces by Peter Webb with his Unley Symphony Orchestra and we really loved the experience. When Peter approached us to record his Five William Blake songs it gave us a wonderful opportunity to work with Peter again and to incorporate some of the best of our live performances in 2009. Thus the CD “Burning Bright” was born. The CD has two separate identities in a way, being a mixture of live performance and ‘live’ recording, without an audience. They were both recorded in St John’s Church on Halifax Street, Adelaide. The live concert recordings are from our “Glorious Music for Double Choir” concert in July 2009 and we spent two late evenings in October recording Peter’s stunning Blake cycle with wonderful pianist Mark Sandon.
The five songs in the cycle are set to selected poems from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence, printed in 1789, and Songs of Experience, printed in 1794. In Songs of Innocence, Blake put the point of view that innocence is the eternal joyous union of humankind with its creator. “Everything that lives is holy”, he said. In Songs of Experience, he contrasted the joy of the childlike spirit with the corruption and oppression of that of the adult – a loss of innocence brought about by the strictures of the established church, the state, conventional morality, and reason. The two sets of Songs, then, become a profound and symbolic exposition on the nature of good and evil in the universe.
This CD was made with love and care by all the Corinthians – we’re proud to offer a product that’s proudly composed, sung, conducted and produced here in Adelaide. Dearly departed Tudor composers aside…we hope it brings you great joy!
-Notes by Christie Anderson and Peter Webb
1. O Clap Your Hands .… Orlando Gibbons
2. Sicut Cervus …. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
3. Christ the King …. Clare McLean
4. The Piper …. Peter Webb
5. The Lamb …. Peter Webb
6. A Poison Tree …. Peter Webb
7. A Divine Image …. Peter Webb
8. The Tiger …. Peter Webb