ANGEL WHISPER (SSATB + soprano solo) 
by Rosemary Duxbury

"And our whisper is like the breeze in the leaves
And the birdsong that pauses you in its pausing,
And it is the whisper of that breeze in you
Where you walk, suddenly in knowing
As its cloak of light gathers around you."
- Jay Ramsay -

(the above is an extract of lyrics taken from the 2nd movement)

'Angel Whisper' is a setting of a poem by Jay Ramsay. Jay is a poet Rosemary Duxbury has regularly worked with having set several poems of his to music, including 'Canticle to the Sun' (a symphonic poem for orchestra and tenor voice); 'Songs of the Mysterious' (for soprano, flute, harp and gong); and 'Adam's Song' (voice & piano) used in a short film by Mark French. They have collaborated on concerts at various British venues including St.James, Picadilly, London and Leicester Cathedral.

The setting of 'Angel Whisper' is for unaccompanied choir (SSATB) with a solo soprano. The words are from an improvised poem, from which Rosemary has made 3 sections - a sort of musical triptych.

The work was written as a result of the Kingfisher Chorale and the Central Composers Alliance setting a commission for new choral works and was premiered at the University of Leicester's Fraser Noble Hall in October 2003, and has received several performances since. '
Angel Whisper' is dedicated to the Kingfisher Chorale and its conductor, David Fisher.

Jay says of writing this poem, “poems come from unexpected places ... we are surrounded by the invisible worlds all of the time, whether we know it or not. This poem is written from the point of view of angels.”

Rosemary interprets the poem by dividing it into 3 parts making what she calls a musical triptych. She says, “I consider the 1st part to be acknowledging the presence of guides and angels around, the middle part takes you to what I consider is the heart of the poem: the 'angel whisper' in which I feel the words speak  of communion with sound and light around us, and the final part is about remembering who we are as soul.”

She has woven the sound of “HU” (pronounced ‘hue’) into the middle part to further express the nature of the ‘Angel Whisper’. “HU” is an ancient name for God, known and sung by many cultures around the world, and is known for being a word that, when sung, can open one’s heart and bring a feeling of peace and harmony and deep understandings.

Rosemary Duxbury and conductor David Fisher at recent performance of “Angel Whisper”






Kingfisher Chorale at the Fraser Noble Hall, Leicester, perform “Angel Whisper”

(November 2009)







The Kingfisher Chorale (conductor David Fisher) performed 'Angel Whisper' at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Quorn, Leicestershire, England in June 2007.









Performance of “Angel Whisper” by the Kingfisher Chorale
Saturday 14th May, 2011. Leicester, England.

The ‘Kingfisher Chorale’ gave a beautiful performance of “Angel Whisper” on 14th May (conducted by David Fisher). The concert made a lovely memorial tribute to Leicester composer Peter Crump. The concert (hosted by the Leicester Early Music Festival). was held at St Margaret's Church, St Margaret’s way, Leicester, UK. It featured works by Peter Crump as well as early and other contemporary music.

“Both of us enjoyed listening to the "Duxbury" creation.  Truly uplifting experience” SF. music teacher and performer


“The beautiful choral music this evening....was a wonderful event to have been able to share, and especially your piece.” EM. visual artist

 

RECENT PERFORMANCES/Broadcasts:

June 3 2015
“Angel Whisper” on Classical Discoveries broadcast Marvin Rosen’s ‘Classical Discoveries’ radio show in America. WPRB 103.3 FM Princeton NJ

March 20 2013
“Angel Whisper” was broadcast as part of "In Praise of Woman", a celebration of music by women composers around the world, on Marvin Rosen’s Classical Discoveries radio show in America. You can listen to the archive at http://www.wprb.com/listen.php

December 29 2012
American radio show, Classical Discoveries Marathon, by Marvin Rosen.
WPRB 103.3 FM Princeton NJ, or on the Internet at: http://www.wprb.com/listen.php

December 29, 2011
98.7 WFMT - Chicago's Fine arts and Classical Station broadcast  “Angel Whisper” as a highlight from the 2011 Quebec Sacred Music Festival (sung by Vox Luminsosa, conductor Claudel Callender). www.wfmt.com


September 18, 2011
Quebec City, Canada
Canadian choir Vox Luminosa (conductor Claudel Callender). “Angel Whisper” presented at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, alongside works by other English composers John Rutter, Benjamin Britten and Paul McCartney for the Festival de Musique Sacrée de Québec.


Saturday 14th May 2011
"Angel Whisper" was performed by the Kingfisher Chorale as part of the Peter Crump Memorial Concert (hosted by the Leicester Early Music Festival) at St Margaret's Church, St Margaret’s Way, Leicester, UK..


Sunday 6 February 2011
Canadian premiere was given by
Vox Luminosa (conductor: Claudel Callender) as part of their Arts & Spiritualité Series, on at l’église La Purification-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie, 445 Notre-Dame, Repentigny, Quebec, Canada



SCORE/FURTHER INFO

For further information on ‘Angel Whisper’ or other choral scores, or if you are a conductor or choir member and would like to see a copy of the score please email music@rosemaryduxbury.com


For information regarding the Kingfisher Chorale visit: www.kingfisherchorale.org

Their conductor, David Fisher, is also a composer, specialising in choral music. For more details visit www.composersalliance.com/david_fisher_1.html

The poem 'Angel Whisper' was first published in 'MEDITATIONS on the UNKNOWN GOD' by the University of Salzburg (ISBN 3-7052-0052-6). For more information email: jayramsay@o2.co.uk or visit www.jayramsay.co.uk

Read more about Rosemary’s collaboration with poet Jay Ramsay

REVIEWS:
Rosemary Duxbury’s lovely setting for the choir shone out….. (we) have premiered many new choral works but hardly one has had the impact on the choir or our audiences as ‘Angel Whisper’…
David Fisher, Choral Director, Kingfisher Chorale

Thank you again for the opportunity to sing your wonderful composition...which must be a firm favourite in our repertoire now. Choir member, Kingfisher Chorale

Your musical composition is so beautiful and unearthly. The Midlands choir lifted it to the heavens for us all. It was delightful to hear one of Jay's (Jay Ramsay) poems set to music and it's total transformation beyond spoken language. L.F., Gloucestershire

Award winning choir The Kingfisher Chorale celebrated the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, with an evening of beautiful chorale music. The concert to raise money for the charity was staged in Braunston church. We had two of the composers present and a very appreciative audience. It’s of particular note that Rosemary Duxbury when introducing her piece '
Angel Whisper' explained the poem that she had set to music and the introduction of the ancient international name for God " Hu" which is sung sonorously under the melody. She herself said she felt the piece was extremely apposite to be premiered in a concert devoted to finding Hope out of Darkness. She is a remarkable young composer and we were thrilled and honoured to be able to perform her piece at such an appropriate event. Concert organiser, Choral concert in aid of The Medical foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. "Hope out of Darkness."

Rosemary Duxbury’s evocative, seamless Angel whisper, in which her original use of layered words and haunting, sustained harmonies made a serene but telling impression. 

Neil Crutchley, Leicester Mercury


The performance of Angel Whisper, the lyrics taken from an improvised poem by Jay Ramsay and set to music by Rosemary Duxbury was magical, the layering of the words and voices  gave me goose bumps and made the hair on the back of my neck tingle,  this lady has such talent as a composer. Sue Gould, Leicester


"This beautiful music has a really magical quality." E.S. Hertfordshire

 

YouTube video of ‘Angel Whisper’. From the initial inspiration of composing through to the performance at the Fraser noble hall given by the Kingfisher Chorale: