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The Feast of the Ascension at Westminster Abbey / O'Donnell, Quinney, The Choir of Westminster Abbey

Album Summary

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Motets (3), Op. 38
>Rose, Bernard : Preces and Responses
>Barnby, Joseph : The earth is the Lord's
>Britten, Benjamin : Festival Te Deum in E major, Op. 32
>Schütz, Heinrich : Psalms of David, Op 2
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : O clap your hands
>Walton, William : Missa brevis
>Finzi, Gerald [Composer] : God is gone up, anthem
>Philips, Peter : Cantiones sacrae
>Macfarren, George : The Lord is King
>Walton, William : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Chichester Service), for chorus & organ
>Gowers, Patrick : Viri Galilaei for chorus & organ
>Rose, Bernard : Responses and Dismissal
>Pott, Francis : Introduction, Toccata & Fugue, for organ
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"The first thing that hits you about the singing is the celebratory tone. The boys might be singing Stanford's Caelos ascendit hodie, but they could just as easily be trilling ''Woohoo! It's Ascension Day!'' I love such musical joie de vivre, and not every choir is able to produce it convincingly as these chaps. It doesn't come at the expense of quality, though; this is Westminster Abbey Choir at their crystalline best, with spot-on pitching, enviable articulation and sympathetic phrasing." -BBC

'This addition to Westminster Abbey's invaluable series of music for feast-days gets off to a cracking start with Stanford's magnificent eight-part motet Caelos ascendit hodie. This sets a jubilant tone for the whole programme, which contains some outstanding 20th-century contributions to the Anglican repertoire, including Britten's Festival Te Deum with its exciting organ effects, Finzi's triumphant God Is Gone Up and Patrick Gowers's Viri Galilaei, whose meditative opening leads to a paean of exultation. All these, and Schutz's Der 100. Psalm, are sung with exhilarating panache' (Daily Telegraph)

'After seven years at the helm, James O'Donnell has made a formidable singing outfit of the Westminster Abbey Choir ... The treble line is robust and thrilling, its soloist, Jacob Ewens, a sinuous star in Britten's Te Deum in E' (The Times)

'Everything is a joy here, including the modern works, the anthem Viri Galilaei by Patrick Gowers and Francis Pott's brilliant Toccata for organ, played with assured virtuosity by Robert Quinney. The choir of Westminster Abbey under James O'Donnell sing with the happy care which his choristers at the Cathedral used to bring to their work with him' (Gramophone)

'The planning is astute ... Just as cunning is the way some old cathedral favourites nestle alongside more contemporary settings. O clap your hands and God is gone up may be Anglican staples, but they are given fresh and energetic renditions here, while the brief Stanford motet at the start is a most exhilarating introduction. Best of all, perhaps, is Ascension motet Viri Galilaei by Patrick Gowers ... this splendid and dramatic setting with its concluding triumphant hymn is further vibrant proof of his sympathetic writing for voices' (International Record Review)

'Another offering to lift the soul heavenwards from James O'Donnell and his choir, as they continue their exploration of liturgical repertoire across the centuries ... The first thing that hits you about the singing is the celebratory tone. The boys might be singing Stanford's Caelos ascendit hodie, but they could just as easily be trilling ''Woohoo! It's Ascension Day!'' I love such musical joie de vivre, and not every choir is able to produce it convincingly as these chaps. It doesn't come at the expense of quality, though; this is Westminster Abbey Choir at their crystalline best, with spot-on pitching, enviable articulation and sympathetic phrasing ... It is a stirring, beautifully judged programme of music, performed to the highest standard' (BBC Online)

'No one does this grand scale of Anglican service music better than Westminster Abbey, and again the performances of this very demanding music are of the highest order... Truly a triumphant recording' (American Record Guide)

'This close-your-eyes and you're there service is almost matter-of-fact in its excellence ... It's good to see that English cathedral music is still intact: its future is represented by Francis Pott's Toccata, commandingly played by Robert Quinney, which rounds off a truly feel-good recording for cathedral music fans' (Choir and Organ Magazine)



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Works Details

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Motets (3), Op. 38
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1890

>Rose, Bernard : Preces and Responses :: Preces
  • Performers: Robert Quinney (Organ); Francis Brett (Cantor)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Barnby, Joseph : The earth is the Lord's
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Britten, Benjamin : Festival Te Deum in E major, Op. 32
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Heinrich Schütz (Composer) (1585 - 1672) : Psalms of David, Op 2
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Rose, Bernard : Preces and Responses :: Responses
  • Performers: Robert Quinney (Organ); Francis Brett (Cantor)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : O clap your hands
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1920

>Walton, William : Missa brevis
  • Performers: Robert Quinney (Organ); Mark Dobell (Tenor)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1965-1966

>Finzi, Gerald [Composer] : God is gone up, anthem
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1951

>Philips, Peter : Cantiones sacrae
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Macfarren, George : The Lord is King
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Walton, William : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Chichester Service), for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Robert Quinney (Organ); Warren Trevelyan-Jones (Tenor); Robert MacDonald (Bass); Lawrence Wallington (Bass)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1974-1975

>Gowers, Patrick : Viri Galilaei for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Ashley Grote (Organ); Robert Quinney (Organ); Julian Stocker (Tenor); Julian Empitt (Cantor)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Rose, Bernard : Responses and Dismissal :: Dismissal
  • Performers: Robert Quinney (Organ); Francis Brett (Cantor)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Period Time: Modern

>Pott, Francis : Introduction, Toccata & Fugue, for organ :: Toccata
  • Performer: Robert Quinney (Organ)
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Abbey (06/18/2007-06/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary