Music from 4 to 40 Parts
Angeli Vocal ensemble, pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, chamber choir Ensemble Gombert, and the Four Seasons String Quartet perform the music of Melbourne composer Vaughan McAlley. It is a fascinating exploration of music written for 4 parts, and up to 40 parts in Vaughan's unique approach to counterpoint.
When not working as a sound-engineer at Move Records, Vaughan McAlley is a singer and composer. His music is sonorous, and he likes to explore the expressive potential of counterpoint. Music from 4 to 40 parts is a representative sample of his compositions from 2001 to 2015, performed by the Angeli Vocal ensemble, pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, chamber choir Ensemble Gombert, and the Four Seasons String Quartet. His epic motet Omnes angeli may be the first fully-polyphonic 40-part piece since Thomas Tallis wrote Spem in alium in 1570.
Ensemble Gombert is Melbourne’s outstanding chamber choir, noted for its pure intonation and historic approach to choral sound and style. Named after Nicolas Gombert (c. 1495–1560), who has been largely ignored in the twentieth century despite an exemplary reputation amongst his contemporaries, the Ensemble specialises in a cappella performance of Franco-Flemish music of the High Renaissance.
Michael Kieran Harvey is one of the foremost interpreters of contemporary piano music of his generation. A champion of Australian music and himself a composer, he regularly commissions new Australian music and has performed with Australia's leading contemporary music ensembles and orchestras.
The members of Four Seasons String Quartet are internationally experienced performers. They have now been playing together since 2004 and are dedicated to bringing the wealth and beauty of string music to as wide an audience as possible. All the players have completed degrees in music and currently reside in Melbourne and perform with various orchestras including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria.
Angeli Vocal Ensemble consists of two couples: Kate McBride and Tom Reid (soprano and bass), and Leonie Tonkin and Vaughan McAlley (alto and tenor). Each couple met in choirs directed by Douglas Lawrence. A focus of its repertoire is secular and sacred music of the sixteenth century, so the renaissance-inspired music of Vaughan McAlley suits it well.
“McAlley's unfailing optimism for humanity is written into the fabric of his music. Compositions ranging from wedding gifts to his 40 part masterpiece are offered to performers and audience alike with a humility that only a truly gifted composer can convey. Deeply intelligent and cerebral, his works hide a treasure trove of meaning and references for those who wish to look. But this academic attention in no way compromises the sublime beauty of his works, ever immersive and uplifting.”
— Kate McBride and Tom Reid, Angeli Vocal Ensemble
- A Birthday for 5 voices Vaughan McAlley
- Madrigal for 4 voices Vaughan McAlley
- To Rosamounde, a balade for 8 and 18 voices Vaughan McAlley
- Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit
- Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’
- Heilig, heilig, heilig
- O Lamm Gottes unschuldig
- Lamentations for 5 voices Vaughan McAlley
- String Quartet (2015) III. Lento Vaughan McAlley
- In principio erat verbum for 5 voices Vaughan McAlley
- I will lift up my eyes unto the hills for soprano and string quartet Vaughan McAlley
- Lord, you have been our dwelling place for 5 voices Vaughan McAlley
- The Lord Bless You and Keep You for recorder and 4 voices Vaughan McAlley
- Omnes angeli for 40 voices Vaughan McAlley
Four Chorale Preludes for Piano Vaughan McAlley
- Ensemble Gombert · choir · tracks 3 and 14
- Michael Kieran Harvey · piano · tracks 4—7
- Four Seasons String Quartet · strings · tracks 9 and 11
- Angeli Vocal Ensemble · singers · tracks 1, 2, 8, 10, 12 and 13
Vaughan is a composer and arranger, a capable flautist and french horn player as well as engineer of countless Move CD releases.