DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7171
There is an expert choral hand at work, for which singers are going to be grateful.
John Steane, Gramophone, November 2006
…Sensitivity to words and meanings, a penchant for a clean, open, uncluttered choral texture, the hint of cathedral purity…
Corp is, on the evidence of this fine disc, entirely devoted to his music, very much his own man… Forget his high profile on Hyperion Records and elsewhere as a prolific conductor of music on the lighter side. Instead, here are a dozen compositions for voices, most but not all unaccompanied, of varying degrees of complexity and difficulty, from the taxing setting of Matthew Arnold¹s Dover Beach to the more innocent, sometimes just two-part, settings for young voices, such as the church anthem, Give to my Eyes, Lord.
Outstanding is the opening sequence, Forever Child, seven settings of English poetry characterized by great rhythmic liveliness and freshness of melodic idea, and they can also be very touching, as witness the beautiful setting of Ben Jonson¹s poem on the death of his young son…
The composer¹s choice of texts reveals a fine literary sensitivity: apart from Stevenson, Jonson and Arnold, we encounter Shakespeare, Thomas Dekker, William Blake and various sacred texts – to all of which he is unfailingly responsive…
…the execution here is infallibly precise in all aspects… he secures an exhilarating freshness of sound, unanimity of ensemble and superb diction… When individual voices or sections are required to stand out, they do so in exemplary fashion. Given that the chosen acoustic is ideally suited to the music, and that the music itself is transparently grateful to sing, Voces Cantabiles must have enjoyed making this recording. It certainly sounds like it.
Piers Burton-page, International Record Review, 2006
There is more than enough rewarding music here to owe Fr Corp our gratitude… In short, buy, listen and then listen again.
New Directions, July 2006
Ronald Corp has already established a very strong reputation as a conductor of both choral and orchestral music. Now along comes a CD – which is welcome as it is fine – that shows us what an excellent composer he is. This is one of the most enjoyable discs to have come my way for a long time. Read the full review.
John Quinn, MusicWeb International (Recording of the Month)
Ronald Corp, as well as being an ordained priest of the Church of England, is a musician whose talents and accomplishments are manifold… Conductor, composer, teacher and a choral music authority, Ronald is armed with a compassionate voice when he confronts the human condition… His most recent work reveals the depth of his talents and his ability to set a vocal line that is eminently accessible and easy on the ear. But if he is able to bring a canvas of life and nature into clear perspective, he also has the supreme gift of alleviating the sorrow of loss and life’s finality with a priestly gift of understanding. His Forever Child was written to celebrate the life of a Highgate Choral Society member’s grandchild. Ronald met six-year-old Ben while a guest at a celebration of the Passover meal. A few months later, after learning that Ben had died from a brain tumour, Corp wanted to write something to mark the boy’s brief life… Ben Jonson’s poem marks the death of his own infant son. Ronald is also an artist of considerable humility and he underplays his own capabilities. No, he is neither a Britten nor a Tippett, but he has a very distinctive voice that brings vitality…
David Sonin (from Review of Wigmore Hall concert), Hampstead and Highgate Gazette, October, 2007