Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


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


CASKEN Violin Concerto

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
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
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK

My soul doth magnify the Lord - Settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis
Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) in C major Op 115 [9:07]
Thomas Attwood WALMISLEY (1814-1856) in D minor [7:53]
Samuel Sebastian WESLEY (1810-1876) in E major [12:54]
Hugh BLAIR (1861-1932) in B minor [11:13]
Charles WOOD (1866-1926) in F major [9:30]
Sir Herbert BREWER (1863-1928) in D major [7:31]
The Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral/John Scott
Christopher Dearnley (organ)
rec. St Paul’s Cathedral, London, 18-20 March 1987
text included
HYPERION HELIOS CDH55401 [58:10]

Experience Classicsonline


One of the great pleasures when travelling around England is the ability in most Cathedral cities to be able to attend a weekday Evensong. Without fuss, with total professionalism and often with only a very small congregation present some of the glories of English church music will be sung with expertise and understanding, and the equally glorious words of the Book of Common Prayer will be heard. It is hard to imagine anything better calculated to restore a sense of balance after a hard day’s work and I am amazed at how few people seem to take advantage of it.

Apart from the anthem, the choir’s main duty is to sing the two evening canticles – the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis. This disc contains six settings of these texts, all intended, not as concert works but, for use as part of this daily pattern of worship. This does not mean that the composers are necessarily self-effacing or the results formulaic but that the composers have had to respond to the very precise requirements put upon them if they are to enter the cycle of canticles in regular use. Possibly it is this discipline that has stimulated composers’ invention in the best settings, and certainly all of these show their composers working at the top of their form and providing exactly what is needed from them in liturgical terms. I do not wish to imply that all of the works here are necessarily great musical masterpieces; they are not. Nonetheless even the least inspired are wonderful examples of sincerity and musical craftsmanship and the best, for me the settings by Walmisley and Wesley, go well beyond that.

Stanford is the only composer here better known for music beyond the realms of church music but it is arguable that he was at his best in his church music. His Great Service in C major may or may not be his best work in that field – the G major and B flat major works are also very special – but it certainly has a considerable impact when performed as well as it is here. The choir sounds suitably large for the music and the building and the notoriously difficult acoustic of the latter has been tamed, adequately if not entirely. The choir appears to be recorded closer and with less reverberation than the organ, but the total effect is imposing even if somewhat wearing after a while for anyone more used to Cathedrals with a shorter echo.

The choir is used to singing settings such as these on virtually a daily basis, so that idiomatic and wholly reliable performances can be taken for granted. Indeed they sing with just the appropriate mixture of fervour and decorum for this music. Christopher Dearnley makes much of the organ parts on an instrument that has all the qualities needed for them. It is interesting to compare these versions with those by other choirs and organists, in the Priory series and on discs from individual cathedrals. In each case I have found greater drama and drive on the present disc. There is some occasional lack of power in the quieter passages, in particular in the solos but this may be more due to the difficulties of recording in this enormous building. Overall these are performances worth hearing. The drama of the Walmisley, the individuality of the Wesley and the grandeur of the Blair and Brewer are all very well conveyed. This disc would be worth having as a supplement to the Priory series of settings of the Evening Canticles, as a sample of the riches of this repertoire, or simply as a fine souvenir of the building. There are interesting notes by Sarah Langdon although her reference to “the mire into which [English church music] had sunk earlier in the nineteenth century” makes me look forward to the day when this particular piece of popular wisdom can be re-examined in the light of actual performances of that music.

John Sheppard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.