About The Cloud Messenger

Credit: Olivia Da Costa


Beth Taylor mezzo-soprano
Three Choirs Festival Voices
Philharmonia Orchestra
Geraint Bowen conductor


Nathan James Dearden Messages 15' festival commission, premiere
Judith Weir Still, Glowing 4'
Respighi The Birds 20'
G Holst The Cloud Messenger 40'

Exotic romantic fantasy infuses The Cloud Messenger, a rich sung epic inspired by Indian stories and beliefs, performed by the Three Choirs Festival Voices. Holst sets a Sanskrit poem describing how a nature spirit persuades a passing cloud to send a love message to his wife in the distant Himalayas; a remote and colourful paradise is brought to life by the music. In response, Nathan James Dearden’s exciting festival commission creates a series of choral landscapes that respond to, and set, messages from throughout history to future generations. Alongside these works, fluttering wings and scratching feet are heard in Respighi’s The Birds as the composer paints a picture of bird movements and birdsong in lively and extraordinary music.

Nathan James Dearden commission supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust and the Three Choirs Festival Commissioning Circle