Plaudits for ‘Shakespeare Songs of Night-Time’

Review on Bachtrack: 

“The world première of 21 year old British composer Owain Park’s song cycle Shakespeare Songs of Night-Time closed the first half. The work comprised of six settings for unaccompanied choir linked with the recurring refrain “Come, gentle night, come, loving black-brow’d night”. This was a sophisticated and immediately engaging piece that once again the Holst Singers excelled in, producing a clean, rich and disciplined sound. The harmonic language was not far removed from the earlier Vaughan Williams work yet it also sounded authentic and relevant. Park’s word-setting was particularly impressive, and a key idea seemed to be the juxtaposition of rhythms and timbres – spiky phrases in the tenor and bass lines were frequently set against smoother dream-like passages in the sopranos and altos to great effect.”

Review on The Arts Desk:

“The main event of the first half had been the premiere of Owain Park’s Shakespeare Songs of Night-Time. Park is a very promising young composer indeed. How young is he? If one source I heard is to be believed, he is just 21. His stylistic palette is already incredibly wide, with hints of everything from Kenneth Leighton to Eric Whitacre. His word-setting is extremely enterprising, and his range of wordless vocal effects from eerie half-tone to humming is also very impressive. Park has a desire to test and stretch the borders of conventional tonality and metre, but also to etch out the contrast by resolving back in each of his six songs into broodingly conventional triadic harmonies and regular pulse.”