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

 

O Sacrum Convivium: A feast of music from the Choir of Royal Holloway University of London
William Byrd (c.1540-1623)
Cibavit eos (1605) [2.33]
Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)
O magnum mysterium (1572) [3:34]
Thomas Weelkes (c.1576-1623)
Alleluia, I heard a voice (c.1600) [2:46]; When David heard (1622) [3:51]
Arvo PÄrt (b.1935)
Magnificat
(1989) [8:09]
Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
Nunc Dimittis (1915) [3 :13]
Gabriel Jackson (b.1962)
O sacrum convivium (1990) [6:22]
Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
Christus factus est (1884) [5:20]
Charles Wood (1866-1926)
Nunc Dimittis in B flat (late 1920s) [3:12]
Robert Walker (b.1946)
As the apple tree (1982) [3:21]
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Ye choirs of New Jerusalem
(1910) [4:44]
The Choir of Royal Holloway University of London/Rupert Gough
Samuel Rathbone (organ)
rec. Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, 1 May 2006
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD127
[47:00]

 

Experience Classicsonline


Never has a description of a CD of choral music been more apposite than this one – “A Feast of Music” - from The Choir of Royal Holloway University of London.  But this is better than a feast for that word perhaps has overtones of over-indulgence. This is a perfectly balanced meal that will leave the listener totally satisfied and anxious for another visit to the restaurant!

The programme is superb, covering a wide range of ecclesiastical music from Estonia, Spain, Austria, and the British Isles. The batting order is not quite chronological, although the first four tracks comprise early liturgical music and the latter part of the CD explores the twentieth century. Only the somewhat symphonic Christus Factus Est by Anton Bruckner spoils the ‘concept’, as this piece was composed in 1884.

The CD begins with four superb examples of sixteenth/seventeenth church music. Interestingly the William Byrd piece, Cibavit Est was actually banned after it was published in 1605 – due to its Catholic theological content. It is a near perfect setting of the Proper for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Personally Victoria has always had the edge over Palestrina in my mind, yet the present piece, O magnum mysterium does nod in the Italian’s direction. Thomas Weelkes is honoured with two motets – Alleluia I heard a Voice and When David heard – both written after 1608 when the composer had turned from things secular to those sacred. I cannot help feeling that the secular side of his art never quite disappeared – if these motets are anything to judge by.

Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat is the heart of this CD – being, perhaps, the most demanding of the works and also the longest at just over eight minutes. I admit to not having ‘got into’ Part’s music, but feel that this stunningly beautiful and moving offering to Our Lady is an excellent starting point. It is probably hackneyed to say this, but he seems able to balance tradition with modernity: this belongs to a world of slippery time. This is possibly the most heartfelt work on this CD. I have often felt that some liturgical music can do more to fill people’s minds with a spirit of religion that that of a dozen pontificating Archbishops – and this is one of those pieces.

The Holst Nunc Dimittis, if played ‘blind’, would probably not be attributed to him. There is little to suggest 20th century Hammersmith - but a lot of influence from Palestrina and Gabrielli. The programme notes point out the huge influence of Richard Terry and the Choir of Westminster Cathedral on the minds of many composers in the first twenty years of the century with the rediscovery of early liturgical music. I do not know if Holst wrote a ‘mag’ to go with this ‘nunc dim’?

I guess another work that seriously impressed me on this disc is the O sacrum convivium by Gabriel Jackson. This both harks back to earlier models and looks to the music of Pärt.  The programme notes point out that as this motet was commissioned by the combined choirs of Portsmouth and Guildford Cathedrals, it was possible to “take advantage of the potentially massive resultant sonority by dividing the score, at some moments, into ten parts.” This music has poise and balance that reflects the text: ‘O sacred banquets at which Christ is received’.

The Irish-born Charles Wood’s Nunc Dimittis is one of the composer’s classic choral works that perhaps reveals his debt to the music of his teacher Stanford. Yet there is a unique quality about this music that is totally personal and is beholden to no teacher. As an aside, I believe it is high time we reappraised Wood’s ‘non-church’ music.

Robert Walker’s accompanied anthem dates from 1982. It was written for his nephew’s wedding and, perhaps predictably, sets some words from one of the most poetic books in the Bible: The Song of Solomon. This is a good setting of these familiar words with a particularly interesting working of the ‘My beloved spake, and said unto me, rise up, my love, my fair one, come away.” It achieves the mystery of these words – on the one hand a literal offer from the groom to his bride and more mystically, that of Christ’s promise to the faithful. Truly beautiful.

Proceedings are brought to a close with Stanford’s superb Easter anthem – Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem. This is a sound that typically epitomises the Anglican cathedral sound. It is an adroit way to close this fine concert.

The singing is great, the sound quality perfect and the programme notes are well written and informative. Alas it is a very short CD – only some 47 minutes worth of music.  I look forward to more offerings from this impressive, competent and obviously committed choir and from Rupert Gough their director.

John France


 


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.