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So Rich a Crown
(b. 1963)
St. Edmund Prayer [2:54]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
There Shall a Star from Jacob Come Forth [7:09]
William BYRD (1543-1623)
Sing Joyfully [2:57]
Prevent Us O Lord [2:37]
Edward BAIRSTOW (1874-1946)
Blessed City, Heavenly Salem [9:35]
Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924)
Justorum animae [3:24]
Coelos ascendit hodie [2:14]
Thomas TALLIS (1505-1585)
O sacrum convivium [3:29]
If ye Love Me [2:19]
Verily Verily [2:13]
Edward Woodall NAYLOR (1867-1934)
Vox dicentes: Clama [9:08]
Maurice GREEN (1696-1755)
Lord, Let Me Know Mine End [5:56]
Charles WOOD (1866-1926)
Hail Gladdening Light [3:21]
Occuli omnium [1:34]
Charles H. H. PARRY (1848-1918)
My Soul, There is a Country [3:52]
Never Weather Beaten Sail [3:47]
I Know My Soul Hath Power [2:15]
Edward MILLER (1731-1807)
When I survey the wondrous cross
The Choir of St. Edmundsbury Cathedral/James Thomas
Michael Bawtree, organist
Recorded at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, England, 5-7 July 2004.
LAMMAS LAMM 172D [73:12]


The Choir of St. Edmundsbury Cathedral is an all-volunteer organization that contributes a great deal of personal time and effort to bringing music to their congregation. While this disc does not come in at the level of the full-time British Cathedral Choirs, they have put together a pleasant collection of favorite anthems that serves the dual purpose of documenting the hard work and dedication of the choristers, and provides a fine souvenir for both parishioners and visitors alike.

Having said that, and since this disc has been released on the international market and submitted for review, it is only fair to point out that there are a few shortcomings in spite of the good intentions of the participants. There are instances where the choir attempts to perform repertoire that is a bit beyond their collective skill. This is most evident in the longer more harmonically sophisticated works such as Bairstowís challenging Blessed City, Heavenly Salem, and Naylorís Vox dicentes where intonation and blend become problematic from time to time.

Where the choir shines is in the simpler more homophonic textured works such as Tallisís If Ye Love Me and the two Stanford motets, which are performed quite convincingly. To his credit, James Thomas has trained this group of amateur singers well, and on the whole, they sing in tune, with tight rhythmic ensemble, and with a deep sense of musicality and commitment to the texts. Enunciation in most cases is quite clear and the choir has a fine sense of the ebb and flow of the musical line.

The disclaimer about the current condition of the cathedral organ notwithstanding, there is a great deal of blower noise and it is especially noticeable at the end of pieces. It makes quite a racket at the end of the serene Lord, Let Me Know Mine End.

The inexcusable errors are on the part of the record label for allowing such a very low bass response in the master recording to pass through. There is very little bedrock to the sound and the trebles dominate without the solid foundation of the basses. Another major flaw is the lack of program notes and (A-HEM!) dates of composers.

This disc might not be ready for prime time, but it is by no means unworthy either. Friends and fans of the choir will certainly want to own one, and it will be of interest to those who follow the work of English Cathedral choirs.

Kevin Sutton


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