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Herbet Howells: Requiem / Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge - Layton

Album Summary

>Howells, Herbert : Hymn for St Cecilia, for chorus
>Howells, Herbert : Salve Regina, for chorus
>Howells, Herbert : Gloucester Service
>Howells, Herbert : Take him, earth, for cherishing
>Howells, Herbert : Magnificat and Nunc dimittis "St Paul's"
>Howells, Herbert : Requiem
>Howells, Herbert : All my hope on God is founded
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

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 only nine. As a result, a mood of elegiac yearning inhabits much of his choral music. This flavor is exemplified by the austere Requiem and the elegant Take him, earth, for cherishing, commissioned to commemorate the death of President John F. Kennedy. And yet Howells could write magnificently thrilling music too, as demonstrated by the fresh brilliance of A Hymn for St. Cecilia and the spine-tingling grandeur of the St. Paul's Service. All of these works are lovingly performed here by the young voices of Trinity College Choir, Cambridge led by Stephen Layton.

"Layton's performances have exactly the poise and careful moulding that this rather fragile, deeply felt music needs." -The Guardian

Gramophone Magazine
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...Had 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.

BBC Music Magazine
In a work intended to console, it's important that the actual sound the choir makes is warmly consoling. It certainly is in this new Trinity College recording of Howells's 1932 Requiem...It's fascinating to note, too, the difference undergraduate voices make in this music...The purity of vibrato-free voices is again a major plus-point at the opening of the Gloucester Service...A superb one-stop introduction to Howells's choral music.

International Record Review
Trinity's recording allow[s] the music to be served but not overwhelmed by the choir's first-rate technical ability...The Gloucester service is relaxed and smoothly flowing, though I do wonder whether it's all just a little too coolly handled.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
In the end, I can recommend both of these recordings, though I would give the edge in technical polish, character of tone, and artistic conception to Layton and Trinity.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Lady Chapel of Ely Catedral and Lincoln Cathedral (07/01/2011-07/06/2011).



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Works Details

>Howells, Herbert : Hymn for St Cecilia, for chorus
  • Performer: Simon Bland (Organ)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Choir of Trinity College Cambridge
  • Notes: Lincoln Cathedral (07/04/2011-07/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1959-1960

>Howells, Herbert : Salve Regina, for chorus
  • Performer: Hannah Partridge
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (07/01/2011-07/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Howells, Herbert : Gloucester Service
  • Performer: Jeremy Cole (Organ)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lincoln Cathedral (07/04/2011-07/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Howells, Herbert : Take him, earth, for cherishing
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (07/01/2011-07/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 9 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1964

>Howells, Herbert : Magnificat and Nunc dimittis "St Paul's"
  • Performer: Simon Bland (Organ)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lincoln Cathedral (07/04/2011-07/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1950

>Howells, Herbert : Requiem
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (07/01/2011-07/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1936

>Howells, Herbert : All my hope on God is founded :: Michael), for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lincoln Cathedral (07/04/2011-07/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1930s