British composer Joanna Marsh lives a life of interesting intersections. Born in 1970, since 2007 has divided her time between Dubai and the UK. Intersecting time as well as space, Marsh has a keen interest in Tudor and Elizabethan music, reflected in works written for Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where she was an organ scholar and later composer in residence from 2015 to 2020.

Joanna Marsh

One such work is Martha and Mary, scored for six-part choir and viol consort. Opening with a quote from one of Byrd’s elegies for the college founder Philip Sidney, Marsh contrasts the soft graininess of the viols with carefully spaced vocal groupings to tell the biblical story of the two sisters, her use of dissonance subtly shifting to a more contemporary feel as the work progresses.

A Tudor flavour also permeates the wonderfully evocative St Paul’s Service, a setting of Evensong canticles written for girls’ voices, where echoes of evening services past coalesce with edgier harmonies, creating a cohesive and convincing...