The choir of Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York has signed a recording contract with Resonus Classics. The 10 album deal will begin with a release of Bach Motets in May, and plans for future releases include Rachmaninov’s Vespers, Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and what Resonus Classics describes as ‘lesser-known works that deserve to be heard’.
Saint Thomas, New York is an Episcopalian church very much in the spirit of the Anglican choral tradition, with a choir of men and boys (the latter attending America’s only church-related residential choir school) under the direction of organist John Scott. Scott took up the post of Director of Music following 14 years at London's St Paul’s Cathedral, and among the planned Resonus recordings will be solo recitals of Scott playing the church’s Taylor and Boody organ.
Of the choir’s 2013 recording featuring the Requiems of Duruflé and Howells, Gramophone’s critic wrote: ‘As sung by the Saint Thomas forces under conductor John Scott, each work is illuminated through exceptional purity of pitch, delicately nuanced phrasing and lucid articulation of texts. The warm and spacious acoustics of the Manhattan church help to heighten the music’s sense of mystery and reverence.’
British-based Resonus Classics launched in 2011 as a download-only label with a strong focus on audio quality, though now also produces CDs as well as digital formats ranging from MP3 up to 24-bit studio quality. Choral and organ music has been a prominent – though far from exclusive – part of its catalogue, including a recent Editor's Choice-winning release of Kenneth Leighton's organ music played by Stephen Farr on the organ of St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh.