Something old, something new...
- Published on Sunday, 16 February 2014 22:12
Unique but universal: traditional and new folksongs from Britain and Ireland
The choral group Albion take songs and texts from the rich ancient tradition of ‘these islands’ and reimagine them for a new age.
Albion is “unique but universal”: unique because all the choral arrangements and compositions are freshly crafted by Fraser Wilson and being sung for the first time; universal because they are based on melodies and words that, being a living heritage, are deeply familiar to us all.
These Islands is Albion’s first full-length album, its fifteen tracks representing some of the most popular pieces from the group’s formative years. Twelve unaccompanied voices are joined by piano on three tracks including Greensleeves, a medieval love song reputedly composed by King Henry VIII.
Amongst the British and Irish songs reclothed in lush choral harmonies are Scarborough Fair, Loch Lomond, Jerusalem,and Danny Boy. They are combined with Wilson’s beautiful new settings of text including WB Yeats’ He wishes for the cloths of heaven and Robert Burns’ My love is like a red rose.
These Islands is a distinctive choral compilation from a group that cannot be categorised, and represents a unique and gladdening contribution to a rich musical tradition.