sudden light cover art

Sudden Light

“Sudden Light”, Epiphoni’s debut recording of choral works by David Bednall, explores themes of light and love in rich choral tapestries.

A quintessentially English collection, it features the premiere of Bednall’s 40-part motet Lux orta est iusto, written as a partner to Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium.

Other premieres include the Three Songs of Love – settings of four heart-rending poems by Yeats, McCrae and Clare.

Texts by Sassoon, Milton and Shakespeare complete a fresh and original programme by one of the UK’s leading composers, released on Delphian Records.

“[The opening chord] bursts into the ear, a glittering explosion of sound that scatters its bright shards in all directions with wonderful abandon ... a brilliant moment of music-drama”

— Gramophone Magazine

“A magnificent representation in sound of light ... extraordinary power ... the recording does it proud. A splendid new collection.”

— James Jolly, BBC Radio 3

Lux Orta Es Iusto, a motet in 40 parts, opens in a luminous explosion of sound, like the sudden appearance of sunlight from heavy cloud, before an inventive exchange of ideas between each of the 8 choirs, and a syncopated coda.

Tribus miraculis ornatum sets a text reflecting on the miracles of the Epiphany in rhythmical 7/8 time. From the Christmas cantata Welcome All Wonders, from which we recorded three movements.

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? sets Shakespeare's timeless Sonnet 18, the amorous text highlighted with sumptuous harmony and, at the piece's close, expansive eight-part textures creating those "eternal lines" that "give life to thee".

Rise Up My Love, written like many pieces on this disc for a wedding of the composer's friends. It opens with an ecstatic organ introduction, suitable for a bridal entrance, before the choir arrive with the ardent invocation of the work's title. The music subsides into a sensuous setting of “set me as a seal”.

With thanks to the Friends of the choir, all our supporters and those who financially backed the recording of our debut CD including: Olwen Moss, John Robb, Eve Olsen. David Bednall is supported by PRS for Music Foundation

Making of Sudden Light...

★★★★

“a top-notch recording … firmly rooted in the English choral tradition, yet absolutely distinctive … well worth checking out. ”

— AllMusic.com, review of Sudden Light
★★★★

“This debut CD from the Epiphoni Consort establishes their credentials”

— Choir & Organ, review of Sudden Light
★★★★

“…their technical command of Bednall's sometimes challenging writing always dazzles”

— Planet Hugill, review of Sudden Light
★★★

“fresh performances [with] considerable interpretive subtlety … a significant addition to the Bednall discography”

— BBC Music Magazine, review of Sudden Light

“A most auspicious recording debut … [the choir] give assured and expert performances, their singing full of conviction”

— Music Web International, review of Sudden Light

“[the] enjoyment of engaging with Bednall's music comes across in this magnificent recording ... simply takes the breath away”

— Apple Music, Editor's Notes on Sudden Light

“The entire program is a torrent of joy … performed with warmth and precision … if I were forced to choose just one [Bednall] CD, this would be the one”

— R Moore, American Record Guide