Notes & Reviews:
Gramophone Magazine, April 2015
It's the motets that stand out here, particularly the Petites Prieres, where the men of the choir put their woody blend to good use...there's an extremity, a roughness that catches Poulenc's mood more vividly than any amount of adult technique.
This new disc with the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge under Andrew Nethsingha - recording exclusively for Chandos - pays homage to French early 20th c. sacred choral music. Louis Vierne and Jean Langlais employ modern chromatic harmonic language and colorful organ writing in their respective Messes solennelles. Messiaen's motet O sacrum convivium! is his only published contribution to liturgical choral music. Aside Poulenc's Four Lenten Motets we hear his late four short prayers 'by St Francis of Assisi', a work for a male choir of tenors that exhibits remarkable variety of color.
Choir & Organ, May 2015
St John's choir again meets the highest standard...a warm sostenuto is achieved by the rich blend of men and boys...If you buy one choral recording this year, make it this one!
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Treasures of the Spanish Renaissance: Guerrero, Lobo, De Vivanco / Choir of Westminster Cathedral; David Hill
Gerald Finzi (1901-'56): Intimations of Immortality, Dies natalis / John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Corydon Orchestra & Singers; Matthew Best
Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-'77): The Dart of Love / The Orlando Consort
Franz Liszt: Piano Sonata; Dante Sonata; Petrarch Sonnets / Angela Hewitt, piano
Scriabin: Complete Poèmes / Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Vieuxtemps: Cello Concertos Nos.1 & 2; Ysayë: Méditation, Op.16, Sérénade, Op.22 (The Romantic Cello Concerto Vol.6) / Alban Gerhardt, cello; Royal Flemish PO; Caballé-Domenech
A Knight's Progress - choral works by Bairstow, Haydn, Muhly, Parry, Tavener, Vaughan Williams & Walton / The Temple Church Choir; Greg Morris, organ
Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 1: Lully, Marais, Rebel - Orchestral Music for the Theater / Tempesta di Mare; Roberts, Stone
Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942): Complete String Quartets / Brodsky Quartet