Within the past year, Scottish-based musician Paul Mealor has twice hit the headlines. Last spring his Latin motet Ubi Caritas was sung at the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, and at Christmas the Military Wives topped the charts with Mealor’s Wherever You Are.
But success has not come instantly for 36-year-old Mealor. A professor at the University of Aberdeen, he has long been helping the city’s Con Anima Chamber Choir to make a name performing sacred and secular music.How the 20-strong mixed choir sounds under his direction can now be heard on a Divine Art CD. The disc features American composer Morten Lauridsen’s Fire Songs on Italian texts, as well as Mealor’s setting of Tennyson’s Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal and further English rose poems.
Complementing the recent music are Renaissance and Tudor madrigals, several of them drawing on identical lyrics. Some were written by well-known figures like Italy’s Claudio Monteverdi and England’s John Wilbye, while others amount to rediscoveries.This is a must for anyone relishing the choral expression of passionate poetry across the ages.