Stephen Layton has received a richly-deserved Gramophone Award for his outstanding disc, Howells Requiem, recorded with The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, on the Hyperion label. Described by Peter Quantrill in Gramophone magazine as ‘…a perfect disc of its kind…’, the record has also recently received a double 5 star review in BBC Music Magazine, along with the accolade of Choral and Song Choice. Terry Blain, of BBC Music Magazine, said of the choir: ‘…the tonal blend drawn from the choir by conductor Stephen Layton….is glowing and makes of the opening ‘Salvator mundi a spiritually palliative experience...’ and concluded that the disc was ‘..a superb one-stop introduction to Howell’s Choral Music...’ An interview with Stephen, given to Classic FM at the awards, can be seen here: http://www.classicfm.com/concerts-events/gramophone-awards/news/stephen-layton-gramophone-awards-2012/
Eric Whitacre, who presented Stephen with the Gramophone Award at the ceremony, commented in The Times ‘…I can’t hide my personal pleasure in presenting Stephen (‘Sid’) Layton with the Choral Award for his breath-taking Hyperion disc of music by Herbert Howells, made with Trinity College, Cambridge – an ensemble I have to keep reminding myself is made up of amateur singers. Sid created his extraordinary choir Polyphony back in 1986 for a concert in King’s College, Cambridge and it went on to become one of those amazing groups that Britain seems to effortlessly produce time and again. It was the Hyperion album of my music, Cloudburst, made by Sid and Polyphony in 2007, that was nominated for a Grammy and spent 50 weeks in the Billboard Classical Album Chart. Huge congratulations, Sid….When Sid Layton’s choirs fill an amazing acoustic you feel genuinely optimistic about music and the human condition itself…’
The Gramophone Awards round off a seriously successful year for Layton, with recording achievements elsewhere including a Grammy nomination for his sublime disc, Beyond all mortal dreams, recorded with The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, on the Hyperion label; and an ECHO Klassik Award for his recording of Praulins’ The Nightingale and other repertoire with the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and Michala Petri, on OUR Records.
Next year will see the release of Layton’s highly anticipated Hyperion recording of Bach St John Passion with Polyphony, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and soloists including Ian Bostridge, Carolyn Sampson, Roderick Williams, Neal Davies, Iestyn Davies, and Nicholas Mulroy.
More information on Stephen Layton, and his recordings, can be found here: www.stephenlayton.com