I WILL GIVE MY SPIRIT
Music for Easter and Pentecost
ERIC THIMAN and others
Cathy Roberts (soprano)
Chris Hyde (baritone) Glossop Methodist Circuit Choir
(augmented)/David W. Rothery.
CD DRD 0139
from Dunelm Records, 2 Park Close, Glossop SK13 7RQ
This is taken from a live concert in Glossop Parish Church during April 1999,
the main ingredient being ERIC THIMANs 35 minute cantata The Last Supper,
composed in 1930. Thiman (1900-75) was a prolific composer of sacred and
secular cantatas, organ music, songs and light orchestral suites, mostly
in a lyrical, attractive idiom. The Last Supper, which inevitably prompts
comparison with Stainers Crucifixion, is characteristic of his output.
The soloists tell the story (the soprano is the Evangelist, the
baritone, who sings beautifully, takes the role of Christ), the chorus comments
on it, the choral material being based on three Lutheran chorales (the last,
indeed, heard in J.S. Bachs harmonisation) and other elements including
plainsong. The 37-voice choir has, one imagines, modest aspirations and one
must admit that intonation is decidedly patchy, but this recording, well
managed technically and well presented (the booklet reproduces all the words)
gives us a reasonably good idea of an attractive work.
The concert also included PHILIP SHAPIROs pop cantata on the Pentecost
story, The Wind of Change, entertaining enough (the Choir seems happier in
it than in the Thiman) but not particularly memorable and the conductors
brief but appealing Come Holy Ghost, specially written for the occasion.
Cautiously recommended for the Thiman, who is less well represented on record
than he should be.