MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing this from

The Gluepot Connection
Londinium Chamber Choir/Andrew Griffiths
rec. 2017, All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London
SOMM SOMMCD0180 [75:26]

Back in 1983 I interviewed conductor Vernon Handley about Arnold Bax. I asked which Bax work was his favourite and why. His reply was a little surprising. He remarked that as an orchestral conductor he was drawn to the Sixth Symphony because of its “apocalyptic vision and the fact that Bax was clearly very moved when he wrote it…”, but Handley also said that he was much drawn to Mater ora filium and quoted Norman Demuth as having remarked that it had been written in the “white heat” of creativity. Recordings of Mater ora filium have been reasonably frequent since the early 1980s and I find myself totally in agreement with Nick Barnard when he prefers the Ralph Allwood and the Rudolfus recording and that this Londinium Chamber Choir runs a close second in the field.

This SOMM CD has already been reviewed very enthusiastically and in great detail by Nick Barnard and I urge readers to read his in conjunction with mine. This whole collection is of a very high standard, the choice of pieces inspired, the singing articulate, voices disciplined and finely tuned to shape and line and sensitively coloured to the atmosphere and character of every song.

I don’t intend to offer my impressions of every piece here because I know I would be treading in Nick Barnard’s footsteps. But I will make one or two comments. As Nick has pointed out every song here is finely executed and enjoyable. I was surprised for instance that I enjoyed Elisabeth Lutyens’ ‘Verses of Love’ having previously been so often repelled by her avant-garde music; I liked the humming and the not-so-gentle irony. I was also impressed with the Alan Rawsthorne Four Seasonal Songs. His salute to Spring is joyous and bracing with some interesting multi-part writing and he invests a wintry chill as his Autumn anticipates the season ahead; his is an uncompromising physical vision not the usual warmish nostalgic Autumnal ruminations.

I was a little disappointed that there was only one song by Delius. It would have been nice to have had another – ‘The splendour falls on castle walls’, for instance, best recorded in my opinion by the Louis Halsey singers (now on Eloquence 480 2077 - review). The opening item on this SOMM collection, by the way, is Peter Warlock’s impressive and imposing ‘The Full Heart’ with its lovely closing descant (Warlock was a great admirer of Delius, of course).

I could rhapsodise further, but enough, Nick Barnard has said it all. This collection is heartily recommended. No doubt it will figure in my Recordings of the Year choice.

Ian Lace
Previous review: Nick Barnard

Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930)
The Full Heart (1916 rev. 1921) [4:28]
Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971)
Four Seasonal Songs (1956) [8:22]
John IRELAND (1879-1962)
The Hills (1953) [3:00]
Arnold BAX (1873-1953)
I sing of a Maiden that is makeless (1923) [4:51]
Alan BUSH (1900-1995)
Like Rivers Flowing (1957) [3:26]
Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934)
On Craig Dhu (1907) [3:50]
Elisabeth LUTYENS (1906-1983)
Verses of Love (1970) [7:20]
Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950)
Songs of Springtime (1931) [15:00]
William WALTON (1902-1983)
Where does the uttered Music go? (1946) [6:17]
John IRELAND (1879-1962)
Twilight Night (1922) [2:57]
Alan BUSH (1900-1995)
Lidice (1947) [4:56]
Arnold BAX (1873-1953)
Mater Ora Filium (1921) [10:56]


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount