[ Hyperion / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 10 June 2011
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"The recording is beautiful, bringing us fairly close to the choir whilst retaining a strong sense of the building. For seasoned Howells admirers, and, with the occasional health warning, for those beginning their Howells journey too, this disc is an absolute must."
(Recording of the Month MusicWeb Sept 2011)
"Articulation, choice of registration, the fabulous acoustic of Winchester Cathedral or all three make for admirably clear textures, something my admittedly prejudiced ears do not always find to be the case. The performances of the choral works are quite simply beyond praise and require no further comment from me. The recording is beautiful, bringing us fairly close to the choir whilst retaining a strong sense of the building. For seasoned Howells admirers, and, with the occasional health warning, for those beginning their Howells journey too, this disc is an absolute must." (Recording of the Month MusicWeb Sept 2011)
Hyperion's previous recordings with Winchester Cathedral Choir are among the jewels in its choral collection. Now the label begins a new relationship with this ancient foundation and its latest director of music, Andrew Lumsden. Their new disc features a composer who was at the centre of the English twentieth-century choral tradition.
Herbert Howells' is a unique and distinctive voice in church music and it is his lyrical anthem Like as the Hart and his compositions of the 1940s and 50s for which he is most known and celebrated. However, his late works are equal in beauty and intensity and it is these that are featured on this superb recording. They are often over-looked as a result of their difficulty but Winchester Cathedral Choir reveal them as unjustly neglected gems.
The Winchester Service, written in 1969, has its roots in plainchant and demonstrates the composer's chromatic sophistication and the incredible depth of his harmonic palette. The choir display a clear affinity with the composer. They perform with sensitivity and precision and their glorious sound is quintessentially English.
Jubilate Deo 'St Peter ad Vincula'
Thee will I love
Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Winchester, 1967)
Rhapsody for Organ No. 4 'Bene Psallite in Vociferatione'
(with Simon Bell, organ)
Come, my soul
(with William Kendall, tenor)
Te Deum (St Mary Redcliffe)
Flourish for a Bidding
(with Simon Bell, organ)
Let all the world in every corner sing
The fear of the Lord
Sing we merrily unto God our strength