Skip to Content



Music of the Spheres – Part Songs of the British Isles

Music of the Spheres – Part Songs of the British Isles

Tenebrae brings you the glories of part song ranging from exquisite miniatures about the natural world and human experience to complex masterpieces marrying text and song. Shakespeare, Shelley, Byron, Tennyson and Milton are the inspiration of renowned composers such as Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Holst and others in this Grammy nominated recording. As with other Bene Arte releases, Tenebrae aims to marry well-known works alongside less-familiar repertoire.

Nigel Short Conductor
Martha McLorinan Mezzo-soprano

There’s music in all things, if men had ears; the earth is but the music of the spheres.

–  George Gordon Bryon
  • Release Date: 30 September 2016
  • Record Label: Bene Arte
  • Catalogue Number: SIGCD904
  • Location of Recording: All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London
  • Total Running Time: 01:05:04
  • View/Download Liner Notes

Purchase Options

You have the option to purchase the physical CD for delivery, or download the full recording or individual tracks, in a choice of audio formats.

Select your preferred format:
Full Recording: Digital Download


Add to Cart
Full Recording: Physical CD


Add to Cart
Individual Tracks

Add individual tracks to your shopping cart by ticking their boxes in the track listing table below.

Buy # Title Composer Duration Price Listen
1Two Songs from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’: O Mistress MineHerbert Murrill01:24£ Listen
2Two Songs from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’: Come Away, DeathHerbert Murrill03:30£ Listen
3AutumnFrank Bridge04:10£ Listen
4Music, When Soft Voices DieFrank Bridge05:16£ Listen
5The BeeFrank Bridge04:36£ Listen
6Three Shakespeare Songs: Full Fathom FiveRalph Vaughan Williams03:47£ Listen
7Three Shakespeare Songs: The Cloud-Capp’d TowersRalph Vaughan Williams02:54£ Listen
8Three Shakespeare Songs: Over Hill, Over DaleRalph Vaughan Williams01:13£ Listen
9Four Part-Songs, Op. 53: There is Sweet MusicEdward Elgar03:22£ Listen
10Four Part-Songs, Op. 53: Deep in My SoulEdward Elgar02:25£ Listen
11Four Part-Songs, Op. 53: O Wild West WindEdward Elgar00:57£ Listen
12Four Part-Songs, Op. 53: Owls (An Epitaph)Edward Elgar04:24£ Listen
13Soft MusicErnest Walker04:51£ Listen
14The Drowned LoversJudith Bingham03:58£ Listen
15The Blue Bird, Op. 119Charles Villiers Stanford02:52£ Listen
16On Time, Op. 142Charles Villiers Stanford02:04£ Listen
17Song of JuneJonathan Harvey05:43£ Listen
18The Modern Man I Sing: The RunnerBob Chilcott02:33£ Listen
19The Modern Man I Sing: The Last InvocationBob Chilcott02:50£ Listen
20The Modern Man I Sing: One’s-Self I SingBob Chilcott02:14£ Listen

There’s music in all things, if men had ears; the earth is but the music of the spheres.

–  George Gordon Bryon

This choir’s great strength is their utterly unimpeachable blend, their clear intonation and their unflinchingly musical approach to their texts. Those qualities are all on display at their very finest here, with a richly rounded sound that you’ll struggle to hear bettered elsewhere, helped by a glorious recording in the acoustic of All Hallows Church, which fits them like a glove.

–  MusicWeb International

If we listen to this CD with English a cappella music of the 19th and 20th century, we become fans of Tenebrae: the modulation capability of this group, its sensitivity to text and sound set is simply a dream. If you love choral music, you need to have this CD.

–  Rondo Magazine

…The ability of Short and his outstandingly responsive singers to create riveting atmosphere, and communicate to the listener the import and implications of song’s narrative.

–  BBC Music Magazine

It’s hard to look past the heady beauty of Tenebrae’s Vaughan Williams, however – the Three Shakespeare Songs recorded here are utterly beguiling, a haze of gauzy, cloudy, choral blend that floats suspended in the generous acoustic of All Hallow’s, Gospel Oak.

–  Gramophone Magazine

This really is a definitive performance of my piece…it totally captures the watery, morbid, sensual feel of it, it’s exactly as I would want it to be.

–  Judith Bingham
Best Choral Performance (Nigel Short), 2018 Grammy Awards Nomination

Best Choral Performance (Nigel Short), 2018 Grammy Awards Nomination

Presto Classical Top 100 Discs of 2016

BBC Music Magazine Choral & Song Choice – November 2016


Signum is Gramophone Label of the Year 2017!

14 September 2017

Huge congratulations to our friends at Signum Classics for winning Record Label of the Year at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards! We are delighted for the company who celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. We have loved working with them producing some of our most memorable recordings from Tenebrae’s debut release The Dream of Herod back… continued


Grammy nomination for ‘Music of the Spheres’

28 November 2017

Tenebrae’s recording, Music of the Spheres, has received a Grammy nomination in the category of ‘Best Choral Performance’. This album, released on Tenebrae’s own label Bene Arte (an imprint on Signum Records), brings you the glories of part song ranging from exquisite miniatures about the natural world and human experience to complex masterpieces marrying text and song…. continued


Tenebrae return to Australia!

30 October 2019

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce our return to Australia in January 2020, where we’ll be performing in Melbourne and Sydney. In Melbourne and Sydney we perform our award-winning interpretation of Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Requiem Mass of 1605. This luminous masterpiece has a timeless resonance that speaks to hearers across four centuries. This is performed alongside… continued


Australia tour success

4 February 2020

We had a wonderful time away in Australia at the end of January when we performed one concert in Melbourne and two in Sydney, making our debut there as part of the Sydney Festival. Bachtrack gave our final concert 5 stars, and there have been a whole host of excellent reviews for all the concerts:… continued


Guest blog: Chris Watson

5 February 2020

I’m sitting in a well-known-yet-as-usual-slightly-disappointing coffee chain in Boston, reminiscing about the wonderful week I spent with my Tenebrae friends last month. It’s been three years since I left Europe and headed down-under to take up the post of Director of Music at Trinity College, Melbourne, and it was a real treat to be invited… continued