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Eric Whitacre, Elizabeth Poston

Aled Jones is joined by celebrated choir composer and conductor Eric Whitacre. Plus the mystery of choral composer Elizabeth Poston, writer of Jesus Christ the Apple Tree.

He's the choral world's very own rock star. With a global following, and the looks to match, Eric Whitacre is rapidly becoming the choir composer and conductor every group wants to work with. This week, Eric's in the studio with his 'half dozen', his pick of choirs he wouldn't live without. And with this year's Choir of the Year competition, Eric reveals what he'll be looking for as a member of the jury.

Also in the programme, Aled Jones explores the mysteries of choral composer Elizabeth Poston, known through one of the most famous Christmas pieces ever written, 'Jesus Christ the Apple Tree'. As a new disc of her work is released by the National Youth Choir of Scotland, Aled uncovers a hidden side of the composer. Thanks to research by the journalist Christopher Lambton there's now credible evidence that Poston was involved in covert communications with allied forces during the Second World War as part of her work at the BBC.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Elizabeth Poston

    An English Day Book (excerpt)

    Performer: Claire Jones (harp), NYCOS National Girls Choir, Christopher Bell (conductor

    • SIGNUM SIGCD228.
    • 18.
  • Ildebrando Pizzetti

    Requiem – Libera Me

    Performer: Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson (conductor)

    • HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 807518.
    • 14.
  • Arvo Pärt

    Passio

    Performer: Hilliard Ensemble, Paul Hillier (conductor)

    • ECM 837 109-2.
    • 1.
  • György Orbán

    Daemon Irrepit Callidus

    Performer: St Olaf Choir, Anton Armstrong (conductor)

    • St Olaf Records E2396.
    • 10.
  • Eric Whitacre

    Hebrew Love Songs - Eyze Shelig! (What Snow!) & Rakut (tenderness)

    Performer: Hila Plitmann (spoken soprano), The Eric Whitacre Singers

    • DECCA 2743209.
    • 5 to 6.
  • Thomas Tallis

    Absterge Domine

    Performer: Alamire

    • OBSIDIAN CD706.
    • 2.
  • Eric Whitacre

    Lux Aurumque

    Performer: Brigham Young University Singers

    • ARSIS CD147.
    • 11.
  • Morten Lauridsen

    5 Midwinter Songs: Lament for Pasiphaë

    Performer: Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia, Stephen Layton (conductor)

    • HYPERION CDA67580.
    • 1.
  • Eric Whitacre

    Little Birds

    Performer: Elora Festival Singers, Leslie De’Ath (piano), Noel Edison (conductor)

    • NAXOS 8.559677.
    • 11.
  • Max Reger

    Drei Gesänge Op.111b

    Performer: Consortium, Andrew-John Smith (conductor)

    • HYPERION CDA67762.
    • 5 to 7.
  • Elizabeth Poston

    Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (extract)

    Performer: Aled Jones (treble), BBC Welsh Chorus

    • 10 RECORDS / BBCAJCD1.
    • 11.
  • Elizabeth Poston

    An English Day Book – The Bellman's Song

    Performer: Claire Jones (harp), NYCOS National Girls Choir, Christopher Bell (conductor)

    • SIGNUM SIGCD228.
    • 13.
  • Elizabeth Poston

    An English Day Book – Lemady: Maying Song

    Performer: Claire Jones (harp), NYCOS National Girls Choir, Christopher Bell (conductor)

    • SIGNUM SIGCD228.
    • 16.
  • Elizabeth Poston

    An English Day Book – A Charm against the Bumble Bee

    Performer: Claire Jones (harp), NYCOS National Girls Choir, Christopher Bell (conductor)

    • SIGNUM SIGCD228.
    • 17.
  • Elizabeth Poston

    An English Day Book – final 4 movements

    Performer: Claire Jones (harp), NYCOS National Girls Choir, Christopher Bell (conductor)

    • SIGNUM SIGCD228.
    • 20 to 24.

Broadcast

Choir and Organ Reads

Choir and Organ Reads

Features on all things choir and organ from fantastic fugues to "bonkers" choral works.