O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing: 18th Century Gallery Hymns
And can it be? [3:46]
As pants the heart [2:26]
Lo he comes with clouds descending [3:37]
O Worship the King [3:25]
Away with our sorrow and care [3:15]
Arise and hail the joyful day [2:44]
Hail happy morn [2:16]
Awake and join the cheerful choir [2:54]
See heaven's high portals [2:55]
Awake, awake ye mortals all [2:11]
While shepherds watched [2:53]
Behold the morning star [2:09]
The musical lovers [1:46]
Arise and hail the sacred day [3:05]
Rejoice this glorious day is come [4:41]
Christ the Lord is ris'n today [3:14]
Light of the world [3:46]
All hail the pow'r of Jesus' name [4:01]
O for a thousand tongues to sing [3:47]
Who would true valour see [3:06]
Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band, The Mellstock Band
rec. no information supplied
REGIS RRC 1338 [62:20]
Hymn singing developed in the eighteenth century and accompaniment was provided by small bands of musicians. Strings, bassoons and flutes were commonly employed: the organ wasn’t generally to appear until the early nineteenth century.
The Gallery Hymns here are performed by two distinct bands: Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band and The Mellstock Band. Prior, much admired by anyone who cares for the music she performs, is one of the leading singers in the genre. With The Carnival Band she ensures that voice leading is varied with intelligence and that dynamic variance is similarly sensitively shaped. A flute and guitar accompany As pants the heart and there are delightful guitar patterns behind Prior’s singing in the second verse of Lo he comes with clouds descending before we pass on to a fiddle bridge passage. The fiddle in fact solos throughout O Worship the King.
There’s a very affectionate performance ofChrist the Lord is ris'n today and a very Handelian one of All hail the pow'r of Jesus' name and more charmingly executed fiddle work in Who would true valour see, which has a fine sense of motion.
The Mellstock Band is very much more lusty and rustic than Prior and The Carnival Band. They let fly with a free and full-bloodiedArise and hail the joyful day and explore the fugal implications, at least to start, of Hail happy morn. They carry on board a rural high soprano whose presence is strongly felt in Awake and join the cheerful choir and I assume they’re trying to imitate children’s voices in Awake, awake ye mortals all. Occasionally a song will take one by surprise: The musical lovers, for instance which is nothing more than a series of increasingly naughty double entendres. By contrastRejoice this glorious day is come is full of valorous singing and great commitment.
Given that one must have some interest in eighteenth century hymn singing, this is clearly a specialist acquisition. Nevertheless it’s very competitively priced. It lacks the texts, but I don’t anticipate that being a problem unless you’re a particularly belligerent atheist - and then you presumably wouldn’t be buying it in the first place.
Given that one must have some interest in eighteenth century hymn singing, this is clearly a specialist acquisition.