Notes & Reviews:
A beautifully themed collection of fourteen of the finest unaccompanied British choral masterpieces of the last 125 years performed by award-winning Choir of The King's Consort.
The fascinating mix of familiar and unfamiliar includes five 'paired' settings: William Harris's classic 1959 'Bring us, O Lord God' partnered by James MacMillan's 2010 setting of the same words; Herbert Howells' devastatingly poignant 'Take him, earth, for cherishing' (in memory of the slain President Kennedy) juxtaposed with John Tavener's 2008 response to the same text; 'Justorum animae' ('The souls of the righteous') in versions by Lennox Berkeley, Charles Villiers Stanford and Herbert Murrill; heartfelt settings of 'Drop, drop, slow tears' by Kenneth Leighton and Thomas Hewitt Jones; and Stanford's beautifully crafted 'I heard a voice from Heaven' coupled with Herbert Howell's exquisite, mystical setting of the same words.
The collection is completed with three impressive single works: Parry's valedictory 'Lord, let me know mine end', William Harris's masterwork 'Faire is the Heaven', and a stunningly powerful recording of John Tavener's 'Song for Athene', which sprang to global fame when performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales: after five subdued sections of resigned calm, the triumphant final stanza, which closes the CD, comes as a stunning sonic sunburst.
Recorded in the well-nigh perfect acoustic of St Jude's Church, London, by the award-winning production team of David Hinitt and Adrian Peacock.
Extensive presentation includes 64 page booklet with authoritative liner note in three languages by conductor Robert King, together with full sung texts and session photographs.
A video including extensive live recording at the sessions and informative commentary will be released on Vivat's YouTube channel 'VivatMusicLive' on September first.
Scheduled for reviews in October issues of Gramophone and BBC Music magazine.