Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

The Choir of York Minster.
John Scott Wesley: Organ, Philip Moore: Director.
Guild GMCD7201 68m DDD.

My first Guild CD for review is a fine collection of anthems from one of Britain's most prolific church composers. Wesley's contribution to this genre was important and quite unique with a host of works that have stood the test of time quite well. This collection reveals an excellent use of forces and a sensitive, erudite composer to certain texts. In 'Let us lift up our hearts' and 'To my request and earnest cry', Wesley explores the vast swathes of English choral writing and his expansive settings of these rich texts are indeed masterly. Wesley also shows that small can be beautiful with a splendidly vivacious setting of 'Man that is born of woman'. Philip Moore reveals his profound understanding of these beautiful works by directing the Choir of York Minster with exceptional insight. Indeed, this choir is selflessly dedicated to its cause and they turn out well-nigh definitive interpretations of all the works. John Scott Wesley plays the organ with consummate intensity especially in the Introduction and Fugue in C sharp minor that also shows Wesley's prowess as an organ composer. Guild provide extensive and satisfactory notes that espouse on the background and sketches the life of this rather neglected composer. An exciting issue then, and one that should serve quite a purpose to rehabilitate Wesley as one of England's foremost church composers.

Gerald Fenech



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