South American Musical Journey

27 Jan 2021

When Crouch End Festival Chorus emerges from the lockdown, the choir’s first project is to record two works with a South American theme. 


Following on from the choir’s recent hugely successful Britten recording with Signum Classics, we are delighted to announce that our new project will be with this world leading company.

The first work is 17 Days by James McCarthy.  This was commissioned by Crouch End Festival Chorus and was inspired by the rescue of the Chilean Miners in 2010 – indeed the decision about the subject matter was made between conductor David Temple and the composer on the very day that the first miners came to the surface.

The 17 days refers to the time that the miners were lost in the deep crust of the earth before anyone knew they were still alive.  They were underground for a total of 69 days before they were rescued.  

The work was first performed in February 2012 at the Barbican in London and has since been performed around the UK and in the Czech Republic.  As well as the choir, the work includes a children’s choir, a brass ensemble plus piano and percussion. 

This video, made between our first and second performance of the work – shows the power of the music and the effect on both performers and audience.

James McCarthy has also written a work on the life of Alan Turing, Codebreaker, which has been recorded by Signum Classics.


The second work is Tango Mass by Augusto Arias.  The first performance of this new work was held up because of the COVID epidemic and it may be that the work is recorded by Crouch End Festival Chorus before it is even performed.

Augusto Arias is an Argentinian conductor and composer, currently living in Scotland. The work is full of vibrancy, sensuality and rhythms as befits a tango.  It is scored for a string orchestra, bandoneon, guitar and piano.  The orchestra uses unusual techniques which are associated with the tango, very much in the same sound world as Astor Piazzolla.

This new recording will celebrate the work of these two talented composers and it is highly likely that the works will enter the repertoire of the world’s choirs.


David Temple, Janaury 2021


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