Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW



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
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
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Robert WHITE (d. 1574)
Christe qui lux es et dies (I) [3.58]
Ad te levavi oculos meos [6.36]
Exaudiat te, Dominus [9.23]
Miserere mei, Dei [15.37]
Christe qui lux es et dies (IV) [6.01]
Domine quis habitabit (III) [6.49]
Manus tuae fecerunt me [7.39]
Lamentations a 6 [17.14]
Gallicantus/Gabriel Crouch
rec. All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, 7-9 August 2008
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD134 [73.19]

Experience Classicsonline

Robert White died with all his family in an outbreak of plague in London in 1574. He came from a musical background. His grandfather had presented an organ to St. Andrew's Holborn. Robert White first crops up as a lay clerk in Trinity College choir in 1555. By 1560 he'd become master of the choristers and acquired his B.Mus. He was described as having studied music for 10 years. This means that he spent much of his training period under Mary Tudor where elaborate Latin sacred music was restored along with the Liturgy. Then in 1558 Queen Elizabeth came to the throne and the Protestant liturgy was restored. But there were exceptions, with the Chapel Royal continuing to sing elaborate Latin music.

By 1562 White was at Ely where he married Christopher Tye's daughter and succeeded Tye as master of the choristers. He then moved on to Chester before arriving at Westminster Abbey. Remarkably, only a single piece of White's seems to survive with an English text. This may be due to loss of White's manuscripts or may give us some indication of where the composer's sympathies lay.

On this new disc the vocal ensemble Gallicantus present eight of White's Latin pieces. The ensemble was founded in 2008 from members of the choir Tenebrae. On this disc they number eight men, two counter-tenors (David Allsopp and Mark Chambers), two tenors (Richard Butler and Christopher Watson), two baritones (Gabriel Crouch and Nigel Short) and two basses (William Gaunt and Jimmy Holliday). The names of some of the singers are familiar to me from other London choral groups. Counter-tenor David Allsopp recently appeared as Daniel in the London Handel Festival's 2010 performance of Handel's Belshazzar.

The disc opens with White's first setting (of four) of the Lenten compline Hymn, Christe qui lux es et dies. In this first version he alternates polyphony and plainchant in pretty much traditional manner. Later on the disc they perform White's fourth version, where the composer displays a greater degree of sophistication. The disc concludes with White's settings of verses from Lamentations. Here White made his own particular selection of verses, which don't seem to correspond to liturgical usage even if there had been someone to perform Lamentations liturgically in Elizabethan England - Protestant England had no equivalent service to the Holy Week services at which Lamentations were sung. Between these two, the remaining items are settings of Psalm texts, covering five of White's twelve surviving Psalm text settings. These Psalm settings are inevitably freer than the plainchant-based hymns.

White likes to mix textures and different numbers of voices. There is something of a slightly old-fashioned feel to the music.

I found these performances enchanting and they introduced me to a composer whose work I knew only superficially. They sing White's lines with beautiful suppleness. Though only a small group they give a strong performance which mixes control with lovely textures. The counter-tenors float the top line nicely, with scarcely a hint of strain, counterbalanced by the lower voices. In fact it is civilised balance which I take away from this disc and a fine projection.

The disc includes full texts and translations along with notes on the music and the historical background.

The CD world is hardly full of CDs of White's music especially sung as sensitively as this. I could imagine them being performed by a larger group, in a more robust manner. But here Gallicantus make a strong case for performance by a vocal ensemble, with nice balance and well modulated tone. This is highly desirable and we can only hope that the group decide to record more of White's music.

Robert Hugill

 


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






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.