Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Music for Easter and Pentecost

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 THIMAN’s 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 Stainer’s 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. Bach’s 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 SHAPIRO’s 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 conductor’s 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.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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