One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor in Chief: Rob Barnett

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

/


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)


Scherber Symphony 2
SPECIAL OFFER £10


Respighi Piano Music
SPECIAL OFFER £10


Gloria Dei Cantores
All Night Vigil


Whispering Mozart


absolutely essential release


The best recording I will hear all year


Long awaited recordings


Absolutely enthralling


Left me longing for more


A superb 90th birthday recording


A top recommendation.


Superb advocacy


Tchaikovsky Sibelius

 


Complete ballet

alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

 

Paul PATTERSON (b. 1947)
Missa Brevis op. 54 (1985) [27:03]
Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948)
Or Shall We Die? (words: Ian McEwan) (1983) [39:03]
London Philharmonic Choir/Owain Arwel Hughes (Patterson)
Heather Harper (soprano); David Wilson-Johnson (baritone)
London Symphony Chorus/London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox (Berkeley)
rec. St Augustine’s Kilburn, 16-18 June 1986 (Patterson); No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 29 February, 1 March 1984. DDD
EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 5059212 [66:05]

 


Two works from the 1980s take their place in the line-up of four issues in the EMI British Composers series this month. The theme is war and remembrance. Patterson’s Missa Brevis is an a cappella setting here deftly delivered by a large, precise yet emotionally communicative choir. The style is orthodox yet highly inventive. Try the Sanctus which has an ecstatic high-soaring line contrasted with a pecked out and swung bass motif. This impressive five section mass was originally issued in harness with Patterson’s 1983 Mass of the Sea.

The major work here is Michael Berkeley’s Or Shall We Die? to words by Ian McEwan. This was written in protest against the potential for nuclear conflict. Heather Harper is in consummately entrancing voice rising to ecstasy against a spectacularly vigorous backdrop. The orchestral canvas is gruff and troubled yet not especially avant-garde. The style can loosely be related to Tippett in his most flowing mode and at times to the stutter and anger of Britten in the War Requiem. The brass are splendidly commanding as also is David Wilson-Johnson. It is good to hear both these voices again and especially Harper whose voice serves as both benediction and passionate exhortation.

The sung texts are not provided which is a pity as without the words we lose contact with the detail of Berkeley’s and McEwan’s message. Its broad thrust is however undimmed in a work that has not dated – the music is too strong for that. I would rather like to compare how the passage of years have treated another big piece from those days: The Women of Greenham – if anyone has a CDR copy of that two LP set.

Here are two comparatively modern works leaning on the one hand on protest and on the other on a choral legacy stretching back to Byrd and Tallis.

Rob Barnett

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger
 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.