The Library Vol. 3 The King's Singers
Label: Signum Records
Interpret: The King's Singers
Komponist: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Jacob Collier, Paul Simon, Christine McVie, Paul McCartney, John Lennon
Das Album enthält Albumcover Booklet (PDF)
- John Lennon (1940 - 1980), Paul McCartney (b. 1942):
- 1Lennon/McCartney: Honey Pie (Arr. Paul Hart)02:50
- Christine McVie (b. 1943):
- 2McVie: Songbird (Arr. Nick Ashby)03:25
- Paul Simon (b. 1941):
- 3Simon: Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover (Arr. Andrew Jackman)03:15
- Jacob Collier (b. 1994):
- 4Collier: In The Real Early Morning (Arr. Patrick Dunachie)05:22
- Traditional Chinese:
- 5Chinese: Mo li hua (Arr. Philip Lawson)02:53
- Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 - 1908):
- 6Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee (Arr. Daryl Runswick)01:20
Info zu The Library Vol. 3
This is the third volume in our EP series The Library. The idea behind this series is to explore, maintain and develop our library of close-harmony repertoire. Close-harmony is arguably the part of our work for which we are best known, and our library of thousands of arrangements is one we’re determined always to nurture. The track-listing of each volume in this series is designed to celebrate old favourites from this library alongside brand new arrangements, created especially for these recordings, which may perhaps become ‘old favourites’ of the future. The Library, Vol 3 was recorded during a brief lift in UK pandemic restrictions, and provided a wonderful focus for us as we came back together after lockdown to rehearse and record it over two sunny days at the Yehudi Menuhin School in the south of England.
It has become something of a theme through these Library releases to include a song by The Beatles; our version of Honey pie (from The White Album, 1968) has been making audiences giggle for decades. It was on The King’s Singers’ 1986 album, The Beatles Connection, which was co-produced by The Beatles’ own George Martin. It hasn’t been recorded since then, but has become a regular crowd-pleaser, with Paul Hart’s masterful arrangement giving plenty of scope for signature on-stage silliness. The song is sung in the voice of a boyfriend who is feeling abandoned in the north of England, while his girlfriend is busy becoming a movie star in Hollywood. The original song, and the arrangement, are coloured with some of the music hall and ragtime sounds that conjure images of glamorous streets in 1960s California. And even Louis Armstrong himself makes a brief appearance towards the end of the arrangement. Or is that Johnny …?
Anybody who undertakes a ritual annual viewing of Love Actually will recognise Songbird, the song which accompanies a beautiful but rather sad love scene between Sarah and Karl halfway through the film. Fans of Eva Cassidy will recognise it as her cover version, but the song was originally by Fleetwood Mac, from their 1977 hit album Rumours. The song was written by Christine McVie, their vocalist and keyboard player, whose brother, it so happens, auditioned for the role of bass in The King’s Singers in 2010. McVie’s song captures the sheer joy of feeling a love for someone which is unconditional, hopeful and ever-growing. Nick’s arrangement, written especially for this recording, captures the simplicity and honesty of that original Fleetwood Mac performance.
It can sometimes be difficult to find songs which are ripe for arranging. We need songs which won’t sound awkward when translated to voices alone, and which will stand the test of time many years hence. Paul Simon is a songwriter whose work is almost invariably ripe, and Fifty ways to leave your lover is no exception. It was No 1 in the US Charts when it came out in 1975, and has never lost its colour since. Our arrangement, by Andrew Pryce Jackman was recorded by The King’s Singers in 1993 on the studio album Good Vibrations, but hasn’t been recorded since, and never with the live, acoustic sound of our The Library releases.
Having bubbled away for several years on YouTube as a young, cult idol for a cappella nerds around the world, Jacob Collier came fully to the boil in 2016 when he released his debut album, In my room, on Quincy Jones’ record label. The album won him two Grammy awards, and set him up as a musical sensation, known for his infectious love of music theory and technology, as well as his songwriting, playing and singing. A track which stood out to us from this album was In the real early morning. In a landscape of eccentric harmony and musical boundary-pushing on the album, this song highlighted a pure and timeless quality in Jacob’s songwriting. With Jacob’s blessing, Pat created an arrangement for the group, which we now look forward to singing for live audiences around the world.
Over recent years, we have been enjoying increasingly frequent tours to the People’s Republic of China. It is remarkable to tour the country, seeing the great sprawl of its cities, the vast fields of its countryside, the extraordinary preponderance of technology in daily life, as well as the pride that its people feel in their musical traditions. One song in particular has been part of Chinese culture for centuries, and never fails to raise a smile for our audiences there. The folk song Mo li hua (Jasmine flower) dates back to the early days of the Qing Dynasty, in the 18th century and has remained in public consciousness to the present day. We are taking this chance to celebrate this beautiful song—in an arrangement by Philip Lawson—not just in China, but for our audience globally.
Quite what Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) would make of our 'Flight of the bumblebee' (originally from his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan) we are not sure; it’s possibly best that no one will ever know. But his iconic depiction of this charming insect has captured the imagination of many musicians through the centuries, from Sergei Rachmaninov right through to the German a cappella group The Comedian Harmonists, whose rendition formed the basis for ours (arranged by Daryl Runswick). There is something we can say with some confidence, however: rarely is so much rehearsal, concentration and energy required in order to make 90 seconds of music!
The King’s Singers
The King's Singers
Acclaimed worldwide for their virtuosity, life-affirming energy and charm, The King’s Singers are in global demand. Their work, synonymous with the very best in vocal ensemble performance, appeals to a vast international audience. Performing to hundreds of thousands of people each season, the group tours regularly to Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australasia. Instantly recognisable for their immaculate intonation, vocal blend, diction and incisive timing, The King’s Singers are consummate entertainers.
The group’s repertoire has evolved to become one of the most diverse and compelling imaginable. The King’s Singers have commissioned over 200 works, including landmark pieces from leading contemporary composers including Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Sir James MacMillan, Krzysztof Penderecki, Toru Takemitsu, Sir John Tavener, Gabriela Lena Frank and Eric Whitacre. They have also commissioned arrangements of everything from jazz standards to pop chart hits, explored medieval motets and Renaissance madrigals, and encouraged young composers to write new scores.
In addition to performing to capacity audiences and creating highly regarded and much-loved recordings, The King’s Singers share their artistry through numerous workshops and masterclasses around the world. In June 2017, the group will host their inaugural U.S. Summer School at DePauw University, Indiana and in July 2017 will return for their 3rd U.K. Summer School at Royal Holloway (part of the University of London) where they are also Ensemble in Residence. Among the work supported by The King’s Singers Foundation, A Carol for Christmas is a composition competition that seeks to encourage young and up-coming composers, giving the winners the chance for their piece to be performed in King’s College Chapel (Cambridge, UK).
Double Grammy® award-winning artists, the group were honoured in 2009 for their Signum Classics release, Simple Gifts, and again in 2012 for their contribution to Eric Whitacre’s Light and Gold album on Universal/Decca. Recently voted into Gramophone Hall of Fame, rave reviews and repeated sell-out concerts confirm that The King’s Singers remain one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles.