Michael Finnissy: This Church
Michael Finnissy is among the leading composers of our generation, and this CD forms part of the Metier Finnissy cycle, still ongoing. Finnissy wrote “This Church” in 2001-3 to celebrate the 900th anniversary of St. Mary de Haura, New Shoreham, on the Sussex coast. This church and the evolving community around it is typical of countless others across Britain. Its story exemplifies the history of Christianity from Norman times to the present.
Performed by Richard Jackson (baritone), Jane Money (mezzo-soprano),
Tony Potter and Larry Yates (narrators), Philip Adams (organ),
Ixion, conducted by Michael Finnissy.
- I. This Church – Part 1 (16:16)
- II. This Church – Part 2 (19:34)
- III. This Church – Part 3 (14:05)
- IV. This Church – Part 4 (7:45)
This is a remarkable document of a remarkable large-scale piece that, in all likelihood, won’t be performed again. this piece owes everything to the performers it was written for. The professionals sound like professionals, the amateurs sound like amateurs, and they are wonderful together. But it enjoys the additional virtues of a taut structure and some real passion and humanity. We’re lucky indeed they made this recording.” —Quinn
The courage of Finnissy’s This Church in challenging preconceived notions of new music stood out like a beacon. THE WIRE TOP CDS OF 2003” —Philip Clark
Composed from 2001-3 to commemorate the 900th anniversary of St Mary de Haura church in Shoreham-by-Sea, on the south coast of England, This Church is an hour-long work for mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, two narrators, choir, organ, handbells and ensemble. It’s a challenging and affecting work that says big things about both the fragility and tenacity of faith, hope and community throughout the ages of an ever-changing world.” —Simon Cummings
Texts of endless interest and fascination, the words … underpinned with evocative music which makes the whole greater than the sum of its disparate parts. an ambitious, but at the same time economical and unpretentious, oratorio for our times… utterly compelling” —Peter Grahame Woolf
The textures are always spare and the manner ritualistic, but the journey from Kyng Edward the syxt to the first world war is epic.” —Paul Driver
There are new compositions worthy of note. One such is Finnissy’s This Church, a cycle of stirring, beautifully-sung music performed with great skill.” —Andy Richardson
This music has grit and invention and documents a genuine situation: a cutting reproach to the glibness and ingratiation which seem to be the inevitable condiment to commerce.” —Ben Watson