> Royal Golden Jubilee [ET]: Classical CD Reviews- Jun2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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1. Fanfare and Wedding March (Neary:MENDELSSOHN) (3:11)*
2. Praise my soul, the King of Heaven (GOSS; descant; Tysoe) (2:52)*
3. The Lord's my shepherd (Psalm 23, "Crimond") (GRANT; descant: Ross)*
4. Trumpet Tune (PURCELL) (Solo: Andrew Crowley) (1:16)
5. I was glad (PARRY) (7:44)*
6. Rejoice in the Lord always (Anon, formerly attrib: Redford) (3:21)*
7. All people that on earth do dwell (Old 100th) (VAUGHAN WILLIAMS) (6:18)*
8. Crown Imperial (WALTON-brass arrangement Christopher Palmer) (6:18)*
9. Wash me throughly (S.S. WESLEY) (4:57)**
10. Lord, for Thy tender mercy's sake (HILTON) (2:11)**
11. Give rest, O Christ ("Kontakion" trad. Ukraine, Kiev Melody) (4:18)*
12. O God, our help in ages past (ST. ANNE) (Croft) (2:25)*
13. I will lift up mine eyes (Psalm 121) (MCKIE) (3:10)**
14. Fanfare: Royale (W. G. JACKSON) (0:43)
15. Hen wlad fy nhadau (Welsh National Anthem) (JAMES) (1:14)
16. God Bless the Prince of Wales (RICHARDS) (1:15)
17. Set me as a seal (WALTON) (3:31)**
18. Make me a channel of Your Peace (TEMPLE; arr. Neary) (3:37)*
19. Love Divine ("Blaenwern") (PRITCHARD) (3:26)*
20. Whoso dwelleth under the Defence (Psalm 91) (ALCOCK) (4:23)**
21. I vow to thee my country ("Thaxted") (HOLST) (2:25)*
22. Fanfare & National Anthem (arr. Jacobs) (2:17)*
Westminster Abbey Choir, London Brass
Director Martin Neary (Organ: Martin Baker*, Iain Simrock**)
(Tracks 15,16 Llandaff Cathedral Choir, Welsh National Opera Brass Ensemble
Director: Michael Smith, Organ: Michael Hoeg)
GRIFFIN GCCD4034 [74:08]

I am sure there are those who recall many of the royal events fondly, and for those people this album will serve them quite well. The whole concept of this album is to compile the music that accompanied all the great British royal events in the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth II.

With the recent death of the Queen Mother, I wish I had more nice things to say about this album. I am sure that it will serve those who recall the grand royal events of the past fifty years with fondness. Much of the music that we associate with British pomp appears in this compilation (ironically not including the Pomp and Circumstance marches); such as Mendelssohnís Wedding March, I Vow to Thee My Country; Crown Imperial, the famous trumpet theme in D-major by Purcell (which is listed in the index, as "Trumpet Tune by Purcell", not that my description is that much more accurate).

However, the production values on this release are for the most part low indeed. Both the Westminster Abbey Choir and Llandaff Cathedral Choir are competent choruses, but sound unrehearsed on this release when the music makes any demands on them. While the organ of Westminster Abbey has attained a certain degree of fame, it is so distantly microphoned that it scarcely makes any impact on the listener (which in turn takes the pomp out of the music).

All of the pieces that call for orchestra are arranged for organ and/or brass band, with an occasional timpani roll and cymbal crash. The performers made a particular mess of Crown Imperial in this "organ-ized" arrangement. I regret to say that the only piece on this release that I find of musical interest as either a piece or as a performance is "I was glad" by Hubert Parry.

But for the most part I find this disc dull and clichéd. Iím afraid I can only recommend this CD to those souls who think that even a modicum of the excitement found in the Royal Ceremonies can be found on this disc. Listen before deciding whether or not buy.

Evan Tucker

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