Magnificat I draws on the music of the Senegalese Jola people and the Ba-Benezele of the Congo. The Silent Land, scored for 40-part chorus and solo cello, combines words from the Requiem Mass and Christina Rossetti's poetry, while Stabat Mater interleaves the medieval Latin poem with the Islamic and Judaic burial rites in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic, and is dedicated to the women of Israel and Palestine.
- If this arouses the expectation (or dread) that we're in for another incautiously blended World Music buffet, then prepare to be agreeably surprised...Swayne is expert in his handling of unaccompanied choral resources...everything is held together by a sense of sustained, muscular line rare among modern British composers. A very worthwhile disc.
BBC Music Magazine, January 2011
- As a self-confessed outsider to the "English choral tradition", Swayne nevertheless draws on a trio of stylistic influences: Latin plainchant, Tudor polyphony and traditional African music.
Gramophone Magazine, January 2011