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18 July 2024
Musick to Heare

Olivia Hunt (soprano)
John Hosking (organ, harpsichord & piano)

Musick to Heare is soprano Olivia Hunt's debut solo recording, and showcases a wide range of sacred and secular song throughout the ages. John Hosking accompanies on three rather striking instruments: an Italian replica harpsichord built by Goble, a Norman & Beard organ designed by George Guest and William Mathias at Bangor University, and a Steinway concert grand. Olivia's naturally pure yet colourful tone shines throughout this recording, bringing a new lease of life to the later repertoire. Her effortless upper range and rich lower range make this essential listening.


Henry Purcell If music be the food of love, Z379A Dido's Lament (Dido & Aeneas)

Isabella Leonardo, transcr. John Hosking: Quam dulcis es, quam cara, Op.13 William Byrd: Ye sacred muses - an elegy for Thomas Tallis

Tarquinio Merula Canzonetta spirituale sopra, "Alla Nanna": Hor ch'è tempo di dormire Capriccio cromatico

Anonymous (116th century English): The Willow Song John Dowland: Come again, sweet love doth now invite Fray Antonio Martin Y Coll: Batalla del 5. Tono Johann Christoph Pepusch: When love's soft passion (Cantata No.3) Roger Quilter: Now sleeps the crimson petal, Op.3 No.2 George Gershwin: Summertime (Porgy & Bess) John Hosking: Music to Hear Ralph Vaughan Williams: The infinite shining heavens (Songs of Travel Roger Quilter: Weep you no more Jocelyn Pook: Bridal Ballad (The Merchant of Venice)

Recorded in Pritchard-Jones Hall, Bangor University, Wales, UK (Tracks 1TRUE0) on 7th-8th June 2018, Turner Sims Concert Hall, University of Southampton, UK (Tracks 11TRUE6) on 22nd September 2018
Design: Hannah Whale, Fruition Creative Concepts
Recording Engineers: Mark Hartt-Palmer & John Balsdon
Recording Production: John Balsdon & Mark Hartt-Palmer
Total Time: 71.11
Release Date: February 2019

John Hosking (organ)John Hosking is Director of Music at Holy Trinity, Southport, following fourteen years as Assistant Director of Music at St Asaph Cathedral. He is also one of the organists for the BBC's Daily Service.

A student at the Royal College of Music, John became Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey in 1996 and is the only person to ever hold this post for a period of three years.  During this time, John played the organ for many Royal and State occasions, broadcast for the BBC and played twenty solo recitals in the Abbey.

In much demand as a recitalist and accompanist, John appears on several commercially available CDs, the most recent being Musick to Heare for the Willowhayne Records label with his duo partner, soprano Olivia Hunt. John and Olivia specialise in promoting Italian and English song from the 16th and 17th centuries, with a busy schedule of performances throughout the UK. They have been broadcast seven times on the BBC's Introducing scheme. As a solo recitalist, John made his debut recital at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris in 2015 and has played in most of the UK's major venues.

Increasingly active as a composer, John has completed commissions for Bangor, Chester and Peel Cathedrals, St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Conwy Music Festival. His Requiem was premiered in the 2013 North Wales International Music Festival and his large-scale work, The Seven Trumpets premiered in December 2013. John's new setting of the Requiem, 'Missa pro defunctis' was premiered on the opening night of the 2016 North Wales International Music Festival. The Choir of Selwyn College Cambridge together with the Ely Cathedral Girls' Choir have released a complete disc of his choral works for Regent Records to critical acclaim. John's largest work for organ, The 14 Stations of the Cross (commissioned as part of Sebastian Thomson's Angels of Creation series) has been released on the Convivium label; this recording was Editor’s Choice in Organists’ Review magazine. His new Toccata for organ is published by Banks Music, with the remainder of his compositions published by Chichester Music Press.

Olivia Hunt (soprano)Olivia Hunt began singing as a Chorister of Chester Cathedral, culminating her time there as Head Chorister. As a member of the Cathedral Choir, she took part in numerous television and radio broadcasts, both as a soloist (notably the televised Christmas Day Eucharist from the Cathedral in 2009) and as part of the choir. In 2009, Olivia was a finalist at BBC Radio 2’s Young Chorister of the Year competition, singing at St. Paul’s Cathedral. She has studied with Edward Hartwell-Jones, Damian O'Keeffe and has also had a consultation lesson with Dame Emma Kirkby.

Olivia graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a First-Class honours degree in Biomedical Science. In 2013 she made her solo debut in the North Wales International Music Festival, returning in 2015 to sing the soprano solos in the Mozart Requiem and 2016 to sing a variety of works on the Festival's opening night. She opened the 2017 Conwy Festival, took the part of Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, sang the soprano solo parts in Haydn's Nelson Mass and Handel's Messiah and gave a solo recital in the 2018 Beaumaris Festival. She has also performed solo recitals in Truro and Bristol Cathedrals.

Olivia appears as the soloist in John Hosking's Requiem on the Regent CD All Angels Cry Aloud with the Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge. She has been broadcast seven times on the BBC's Introducing scheme and interviewed live on the Radio Wales Arts Show.

Olivia was the recipient of the 2018 Worshipful Livery Company of Wales Sickle Foundation Award for services to Welsh music, performing a commissioned work at the Cardiff Senedd in a concert to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the Company. She is also a Verger and Deputy Lay Clerk at Chester Cathedral and sang with the choir for a live broadcast of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 in September 2018.

Olivia has an early music partnership with John Hosking, focusing on Italian and English song from the 16th and 17th centuries. She has released her first solo disc Musick to Heare with John for the Willowhayne Records label to critical acclaim and they have recently performed a concert as part of the Londong International Exhibition of Early Music.

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