The Dream of the Rood

The Dream of the Rood

The Hilliard Ensemble

Editor's Choice

For four decades, repertoire ancient and modern, secular and religious, was tirelessly and imaginatively explored by the Hilliard Ensemble, a stunningly assured male vocal group comprising an alto, two tenors and a bass, and especially famous for its searingly eloquent commitment to the music of Estonian Arvo Pärt as well as notably fruitful collaborations with the Norwegian jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek. For what proved to be the group's final recording session in 2014, music by the medieval French master Pérotin (c1160-c1230) and septuagenarian British composer John Casken cross-pollinate in a enjoyably sparky reworking of the former's pioneering, polyphonic motet Viderunt Omnes, followed by Casken's own urgently expressive cantata setting from 2008 of the Anglo-Saxon poem, The Dream of the Rood. Needless to say, the Hilliards respond with breathtaking composure and infectious conviction, not least in the three anonymous medieval motets that launch proceedings. read more

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