[ Hyperion / CD ]
Release Date: Tuesday 10 April 2012
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"...impressive for dispelling the clouds of dissonance that have given Howell the bad name of a meandering mystic and letting us hear what a fine ear he had. This is a perfect disc of its kind." (Gramophone Magazine Award WINNER 2012: Choral)
"Layton's performances have exactly the poise and careful moulding that this rather fragile, deeply felt music needs."
"I've yet to be disappointed with a recording by Stephen Layton and Trinity College Choir. This Howells disc shows them at their very best. It's glorious music, superbly performed. This is, in short, a most distinguished release."
(Recording of the Month MusicWeb April 2012)
"Hyperion's disc...is all more impressive for dispelling the clouds of dissonance that have given Howell the bad name of a meandering mystic and letting us hear what a fine ear he had...How good it is to hear the St Paul Service not swallowed up by the dome that cathedral but still buttressed by a mighty Willis beast, belonging in this case to Lincoln...This is a perfect disc of its kind." (Gramophone Magazine Award WINNER 2012: Choral)
Herbert Howells was acutely sensitive to the transience of life, having witnessed the loss of friends and contemporaries in the First World War and encountered deep personal tragedy when his son Michael died of polio at the age of just nine. And so a mood of elegiac yearning inhabits much of his choral music: the austere, lovely a cappella Requiem, and the elegant Take him, earth, for cherishing, commissioned to commemorate the death of President John F Kennedy, here lovingly performed by the young voices of Trinity College Choir, Cambridge, in Hyperion's Record of the Month for April 2012.
And yet Howells could write magnificently thrilling music too, as demonstrated by the fresh brilliance of A Hymn for St Cecilia, the spine-tingling grandeur of the St Paul's Service, or the life-affirming hymn 'All my hope on God is founded', here further sweetened with a descant by John Rutter.
A Hymn for St Cecilia
Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Gloucester, 1946)
Take him, earth, for cherishing
Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (St Paul's, 1951)
All my hope on God is founded