Eight-member British vocal ensemble Voces8 are recognized for their elegant balance and range of color, including smooth harmonies that have been compared to the King's Singers. Their repertory ranges from early Renaissance choral-vocal music to Gershwin and contemporaries, sometimes within the same recording. Following success in competitions, they emerged with From Gibbons to Gershwin in 2007. Four albums later, they took on Brahms, Bruckner, Reger in 2011, and their Decca debut, Eventide, charted in the U.K. upon its release in 2013. While they had already released a Christmas album, Winter focused on winter-themed songs more so than holiday music in 2016, and over a dozen albums into their career, 2019's Enchanted Isle reimagined material originally written for film and television.
Devising their name on the spur of the moment en route to a competition in Italy, Voces8 was formed in 2005 by ex-choristers of the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The singers took on professional status in 2007, the year they issued From Gibbons to Gershwin, which spanned Orlando Gibbons (b. 1583) and George Gershwin (b. 1898). Considered their official debut, Evensong arrived on their own label, VCM Records, in 2008. After signing with Signum Classics, they presented Aces High, a collection of pop songs and movie themes that included, among other songs, Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" and the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." It arrived in early 2010 and was followed later the same year by Bach: Motets. In 2011, they released both Brahms, Bruckner, Reger and their first Christmas album, titled simply Christmas. A Choral Tapestry revisited composers such as Brahms, Reger, and Gibbons in 2012, and the following year brought A Purcell Collection, a collaboration with les Inventions. In the meantime, the lineup-shifting group established a busy touring schedule with an international reach.
Voces8 moved to Decca in 2013, making their label debut with Eventide. It covered composers as diverse as film scorer John Williams, Benjamin Britten, and then-newcomer Ola Gjeilo. Marking their debut on the U.K. album chart, it reached number 59. That year, original member Paul Smith also published a textbook, The VOCES8 Method. The album Night Scapes: Choral Music for Reflective Moments followed a year later. Issued in 2015, Lux included works by Tavener and Elgar as well as singer/songwriter Ben Folds, and 2016's Winter saw them joined by artists including pianist Huw Watkins and violinist Mari Samuelsen. Still with Decca, Equinox arrived in 2018, and in 2019, they offered the soundtrack-themed Enchanted Isle. Voces8 celebrated their 15th season in 2020 with a tour that included stops in Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. ~ Marcy Donelson & James Manheim