REBECCA DALE DEBUT ALBUM FROM DECCA’S FIRST FEMALE COMPOSER ‘REQUIEM FOR MY MOTHER’
Released on Decca Classics: 31st August 2018
Young British composer Rebecca Dale, the first female composer to sign to Decca Classics, will release her debut album ‘Requiem For My Mother’ on 31st August – featuring two major works: her brand new Materna Requiem and her choral symphony When Music Sounds.
At the heart of Rebecca’s first recording is her Materna Requiem – a beautifully moving and uplifting tribute to her late mother, who died in 2010. The work draws from both the traditional text of the Catholic Mass and contemporary poetry and is a homage to parents everywhere. It features the voices of soprano Louise Alder, tenor Trystan Griffiths and young choristers Hannah Dienes-Williams and Edward Hyde (BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2016) alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The work will receive its world premiere performance at The North Wales International Music Festival in St Asaph Cathedral on 22nd September.
Rebecca Dale says of the album: “It’s an amazing feeling to be releasing my first album and sharing my music with everyone. The Requiem is a very personal piece to me, and it uses melodies I wrote when I was a child so you could say I’ve been working on it for most of my life! When I first wrote the Requiem I didn’t even realise it would receive a performance so it’s a hugely exciting moment to hear it on record, and I hope the piece connects with people.”
The first track from Rebecca’s new album, ‘Pie Jesu’, is out now and expresses a parent’s love for their son or daughter – so instead of using a child’s voice as is tradition for this movement, it’s represented as a father singing to his newborn.
The process of writing the Materna Requiem has been somewhat cathartic for Rebecca – she describes the musical tribute to her mother as “a way for me to build a bridge back to her”. Rebecca is keen to help others who have suffered the loss of a parent and is a supporter of Winston’s Wish – the UK’s first childhood bereavement charity. Donation buckets will be available at the premiere performance of the work, plus Rebecca will be taking part in ‘TrekFest’ for the charity.
Rebecca’s work first came to public attention when BBC Radio 3 premiered her choral symphony ‘When Music Sounds’ in 2014 and the track, ‘I’ll Sing’, went to No.1 on the Classical iTunes chart. It seems fitting that the whole piece is recorded on her debut album. Performed by the Cantus Ensemble – one of London’s leading chamber choirs – this inspiring orchestral work is a glorious counterpart to the Requiem and concludes the album in stunning style.
ABOUT REBECCA DALE
Born in 1985, Rebecca started composing from a very young age, completing her first full musical at the age of 10 and piano concerto at 15. She studied at Oxford University (New College) and the National Film and Television School. She made her mark in 2014 with her choral symphony When Music Sounds and in 2016 her orchestral work ‘Soay’ was featured on the chart-topping Decca album, ‘The Lost Songs of St Kilda’. Rebecca’s track ‘Winter’, commissioned by vocal group Voces8 for their album of the same name, was described by Gramophone magazine as a “masterpiece”.
A fellow of the famous Sundance Composers Lab and alumna of the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop in Hollywood, Rebecca writes extensively for film and TV. She has worked on a variety of big screen projects including Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, director Stephen Frears’ The Program, action film The Take starring Idris Elba, and Disney’s Queen of Katwe, while her score to Crossing The Line was nominated for best original music in feature film at the 2017 international Music & Sound Awards. Most recently, she contributed to BBC One’s three-part adaption of Little Women, starring Angela Lansbury, Michael Gambon and Emily Watson.
As a concert composer, Rebecca has written for numerous artists and ensembles including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Scottish Festival Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. She is a fellow of the prestigious Macdowell Colony in New Hampshire (alumni include Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland), and has been an associate composer with the London Symphony Orchestra on its Soundhub programme. Rebecca was commissioned by Canterbury Cathedral Girls’ Choir for their debut album and has been 2017-18 Composer in Residence for the London Oriana Choir as part of its five15 project.
Earlier this year Rebecca became the first female composer to sign exclusively to Decca Classics. She has simultaneously signed to Decca Publishing as the first woman to join its growing roster.