Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

alternatively
Classicsonline AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

Hear My Words
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918)
1. Hear my words, ye people (1894) [15:03]
William BYRD (c. 1539-1623)
2. Teach me, O Lord [3:23]
Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) 3. Magnificat in G [3:57]
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
4. Benedictus from Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo Hob XX11/7 (Little Organ Mass) [4:24]
Malcolm BOYLE (1902-1976)
5. Thou, O God, art praised in Sion [6:04]
Maurice GREENE (1696-1755)
6. Lord, let me known mine end [5:34]
Henry LEY (1887-1962)
7. A Prayer of King Henry VI [1:53]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART  (1756-1791)
8. Laudate Dominum from Vesperae solennes de Confessore KV339 [4:02]
Thomas TOMKINS (1572-1656)
9. Out of the deep [4:06]
Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD
10. A Song of Wisdom from Six Biblical Songs Op. 113 No. 6 (1909) [5:27]
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
11. Panis Angelicus from Messe Solenelle [3:58]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
12. Hear my Prayer
13. O for the wings of a dove (1844) [11:19]
Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989)
14. The Lord is my Shepherd (1975) [4:28]
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY
15. I was glad (1902) [5:19]
Alex Jones (baritone) (1), Hugo Popplewell (2) Joshua Cooter (3,14) Tom Norrington (4,8,12) Alex Chance (6) Alex Eager (6) Sam Landman (9) Alex Roberts (10) Adam Berman (11,13) (trebles) Eton College Chapel Choir/Ralph Allwood
David Goode (organ)
rec. Eton College Chapel 5 December 2006, 14, 21 January 2007. DDD
Texts and translations included
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD115 [79:00]
Experience Classicsonline


There are two threads running through this programme. One is that of music by composers who have connections with Eton College. Both Parry and Malcolm Boyle were pupils at the school while Henry Ley served on the staff.
 
The other thread, and a more pronounced one, is a celebration of the treble voice. The Eton choir has trebles in the age range 13 to 15 years, whereas most cathedral choirs will have quite a few boys who are much younger than this and, perhaps, only a small number at the upper end of the age range for trebles. Indeed, several of the soloists on this disc came to Eton after serving as choristers in some of England’s more notable Anglican choirs, including that of King’s College, Cambridge. I think the maturity of the Eton treble section is an important element in its overall sound.
 
The choir consists almost entirely of pupils – I suspect from the choir listing that one member, an alto, is a master. That does mean that the tenors and basses will be aged, I imagine, between 16 and 18. That does have an implication in that there are just a few occasions in the bigger pieces where one feels a lack of vocal weight in the lower parts. I noticed this at times in the Stanford Magnificat, in the Boyle setting and in I was glad. To be honest this factor didn’t weigh too heavily with me but it’s worth mentioning as other listeners may be more worried by this than I was.
 
However, the chief impression one is left with after hearing this disc is the excellence and polish of the choir. Mind you, I’m not at all surprised at this given that the choir training is in the expert hands of Ralph Allwood. He has built a formidable – and deserved – reputation as one of the finest choral trainers in the UK and he is particularly successful in his work with younger singers, as witnessed by the superb Rodolfus Choir, which is one of other choirs that he directs.
 
David Goode, the College’s Organist – and a well-known virtuoso recitalist in his own right – comments in his booklet note that the choir as constituted for this recording contained a particularly rich crop of treble voices. That judgement is amply borne out by what we hear from the various soloists. Without exception they sing splendidly and with no little intelligence and if I don’t mention any of their contributions individually that des not imply that the singer or singers in question are less than first rate.
 
Among the solos that particularly caught my eye were those by Joshua Cooter in the glorious Stanford Magnificat and by Adam Berman in the Franck. The latter is a piece to which I don’t usually warm but when the solo is sung with such clarity and purity it’s a pleasure to hear. Adam Berman reappears in O for the wings of a dove. He’s the latest in a very long line of trebles to essay this piece, a line that begins with Master Ernest Lough. I doubt young Adam need fear comparisons, certainly not among the recordings I’ve heard, for he sings this plum from the treble repertoire very well indeed.
 
Two of the pieces contain especially demanding solos. Stanford’s A Song of Wisdom demands intelligence as well as excellent technique and Alex Roberts displays both. But for me the finest singing of all in this feast of trebles comes from Tom Norrington in Mozart’s Laudate Dominum. This gem is a challenge even for vastly experienced sopranos. Tom displays enviable breath control and makes a lovely open sound. He projects the solo line confidently and pitches every note right in the middle. The grace with which he sings the final phrases – that exquisite ‘Amen’ – is particularly pleasing.
 
There’s one other soloist on the disc, baritone Alex Jones, to whom falls the demanding, extended solo in Parry’s Hear my words, ye people. When I listened to the disc for the first time, prior to a detailed reading of the booklet, I thought an adult, probably a member of staff, had taken the solo but in fact Alex Jones is a pupil. The sound that he produces is strong and mature and he makes a very positive impression. This substantial Parry anthem is well done by the choir as a whole. Parry is probably the most distinguished musical alumnus of Eton College; he was a pupil there between 1861 and 1866. His celebrated I was glad makes a majestic conclusion to the programme.
 
Much less well known is the music of Malcolm Boyle, who was a chorister at Eton, probably in the second decade of the twentieth century, I presume. He went on to serve as Organist of Chester Cathedral (1932-1949). His anthem is a setting of words from Psalm 65 and the prophecy of Isaiah. It opens confidently, the music forthright in tone. Later on there’s a fine, extended melody for unison trebles at the words “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.” The grand ending is enhanced by the contribution of David Goode at the console of the chapel’s fine organ – but that’s true of every accompanied piece on this CD. Anyone who likes the church music of Parry or Stanford should warm to this piece by Boyle and I’m pleased to have made its acquaintance.
 
Much better known is Henry Ley’s A Prayer of King Henry VI. This lovely little piece is known at Eton as the Founder’s Prayer because, of course, the author of the text, King Henry VI, founded Eton College in 1440 – and also founded its sister establishment, King’s College, Cambridge. The authorship of the text alone would have made it appropriate to include this piece here but Henry Ley was a predecessor of Ralph Allwood, serving as Eton’s Precentor and Director of Music from 1926-1945. His exquisite miniature is expertly served by the present incumbent and by today’s crop of choristers.
 
In summary, this is a fine and very enjoyable disc. The performance standard is uniformly very high and the engineers have provided very good sound. If the programme appeals then collectors can invest in confidence.
 
John Quinn


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.