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Great Hymns from Lincoln
Lincoln Minster School Chamber Choir/Aric Prentice
Charles Harrison (organ)
rec. 4-6 March 2013, Lincoln Cathedral, England
Sung texts provided
Detailed Track List at end of review
PRIORY PRCD 1104 [73:06]

Hymn singing is a great tradition throughout much of the Christian world and rouses a great number of feelings and memories in us all. Many - myself included - will remember filing into the school hall for assembly, which included singing the tunes that stuck in our minds for the rest of our lives. This is certainly the first memory that came to mind when I started listening to this disc, the latest release from Lincoln Minster School Chamber Choir.
 
The forty-strong choir, formed in 2001, is made up entirely of students at the Minster School. A number of them were previously choristers in the Cathedral Choir, and this is something that was noticeable; the choir contains a number of talented young musicians who contribute some very solid singing throughout.
 
The disc contains a number of very famous tunes including Praise my soul, Cwm Rhondda and Shine Jesus, Shine, many of which are presented in new arrangements by Aric Prentice and Charles Harrison; many with the addition of a Brass quintet. The arrangements are lively and remain largely true to the original, but at times the combined organ and brass slightly overwhelm the young voices of the choir.
 
The singing is solid and secure throughout, but the choir is definitely at its strongest during the unaccompanied passages, where the balance between vocal parts is very good, the diction at its clearest and the ensemble tight. In addition to this, five of the twenty-three hymns have sections performed by a soloist. The solos were performed to a high standard by well-chosen singers, their efforts mature and musical.
 
I feel that the brass quintet played very well, and their inclusion in various hymn arrangements was something I very much enjoyed. As one might expect, the organ playing was very strong, and for the most part complemented the choir very nicely.
 
I found listening to this disc a very pleasant experience. Though not exactly life-changing, it is a good solid CD from a group of talented young musicians.
 
Jake Barlow
www.twitter.com/countertenor_j
 
Detailed Track List
1. Praise my soul the King of Heaven - J. Goss [2:36]
2. How Great Thou Art - Swedish Folk Melody [4:20]
3. Here I am, Lord - D. L. Schutte [4:47]
4. Christ triumphant, ever reigning* - J. Barnard [2:44]
5. Father, hear the prayer we offer - R. Vaughan Williams; Solo: Alice Jones [1:45]
6. When I survey the wondrous cross - E. Miller [3:28]
7. Come, let us join our cheerful songs - H.Lahee [1:38]
8. Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire - Christopher Mitchell [2:36]
9. Be still, for the presence of the Lord - D.J. Evans [2:34]
10. Lo! He comes with clouds descending - R.H. Lloyd [4:42]
11. O come, O come, Emmanuel - T. Helmore [3:36]
12. O Jesus, I have promised* - W H. Furguson [3:18]
13. In Christ alone - S. Townend [3:59]
14. The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended - C. Scholefield [3:06]
15. O blest Creator of the light - Peter Weatherley [3:18]
16. Guide me, O thou great Redeemer* - J. Hughes [2:20]
17. At the name of Jesus* - M. Brierley [2:18]
18. O holy city, seen of John - Sancta Civitas [2:46]
19. O thou who eamest from above - S.S. Wesley [2:45]
20. King of glory, King of peace - J.D. Jones [2:12]
21. Dear Lord and Father of mankind* - C.H.H. Parry [3:19]
22. All my hope on God is founded - H. Howells [2:43]