Editors’ Notes Setting the words of 17th-century poet and theologian Thomas Traherne, Gavin Bryars’ exceptionally beautiful The Fifth Century is scored for choir and saxophone quartet. It’s infused with a calm spirituality as textures and melodies slowly unfurl and choir and saxophones blend into a beautiful, homogenous ensemble. Traherne’s words intimately explore his relationship with God and the wonders of creation, and they take on a timelessness in Bryars' hands—the glorious fourth movement, “Eternity Is a Mysterious Absence of Times and Ages,” seems to tame time itself as it soars, suspended in midair. The singing, playing, and recorded quality are mesmerising.

The Fifth Century
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Two Love Songs
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