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CHAN 0804
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CHAN 0804

Tomkins: Sacred Choral Works

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013

Artists:

Andrew Nethsingha


Freddie James

organ

Choir of St John's College, Cambridge



Venue:

St John's College Chapel, Cambridge



Producer:

Rachel Smith



Engineer:

Jonathan Cooper



Record Label
Chaconne

Genre:

Choir


Organ

Total Time - 62:21
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THOMAS TOMKINS

(1572-1656)
   
1 

When David heard that Absalom was slain

5:28
  Full anthem for five-part choir  
2 

Almighty God, which hast knit together

5:09
  Verse anthem for eight-part choir and organ  
3 

Magnificat

5:40
  for five-part choir and organ  
  from the Sixth Service  
4 

Nunc dimittis

2:49
  for five-part choir and organ  
  from the Sixth Service  
5 

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom

7:14
  Full anthem for five-part choir  
6 

A Sad Pavan for these distracted times

3:30
   
7 

My shepherd is the living Lord

3:51
  Verse anthem for four-part choir and organ  
8 

Behold, I bring you glad tidings

3:39
  Verse anthem for ten-part choir and organ  
9 

Voluntary in A minor

3:32
   
10 

Jubilate

7:09
  for ten-part choir with organ  
  from the Third ('Great') Service  
11 

Clarifica me Peter

2:35
   
12 

Te Deum

11:45
  for ten-part choir with organ  
  from the Third ('Great') Service  
  TT 62:21      
   
 Freddie James organ
 Andrew Nethsingha
  16-18 July 2013  


Thomas Tomkins, born in 1572, was one of the most accomplished and versatile English composers of his era. A total mastery of contrapuntal technique and expressive intensity are hallmarks of his style. Here the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, a cornerstone of the great English choral tradition since the 1670s, performs a collection of choral works complemented by several pieces for organ.

Canticles from two of Tomkins’s Services are included, the pieces from the complex and ambitious Third Service contrasting with those of the more modest Sixth, indebted to the style of Tomkins’s teacher William Byrd.

The four fine verse anthems recorded here reveal the range in Tomkins’s expressive capabilities, from the calming pastoral tones of My shepherd is the living Lord to the joyful ebullience of Behold, I bring you glad tidings. Four full anthems are also performed, including the famous When David heard that Absalom was slain, a poignant portrayal of the grief that King David experienced at the death of his son.

This melancholic mood is continued in the best-known of the keyboard works on this album, ‘A Sad Pavan for these distracted times’, written for himself to play privately after losing his position as organist of Worcester Cathedral following its destruction in the English Civil War.

 

                    Critic’s Choice 2014

"Wat better music for these sad, distracted times than the work of the first great Welsh composer, Thomas Tomkins  ... sunf by the finest of the college choirs, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha ..."

David Threasher - Gramophone magazine - December 2014


"...This disc delivers an interesting and useful survey of Tomkins’s sacred and keyboard music reflecting the most important parts of his oeuvre. Most items have probably been recorded before, although I could not find other recordings of Almighty God, which hast knit together and Behold, I bring you glad tidings. Even so, this is a very attractive disc, not only because of the choice of music, but also because of the performances. The singing is excellent, not just by the plenary choir but also by its individual members who take care of the solo passages in the verse anthems... The expressive elements come off very well. The organ pieces are nicely played by Freddie James..."

Johan van Veen - MusicWeb-International.com - 4 November 2014


“…As is the case throughout this fine recording, organist Freddie James turns in a stylish, sensitive performance  …”

Robert Levett – International Record Review –December 2014


                        Performance ****      Recording ****

“A highly recommended overview of Tomkins’s choral church music …”

George Pratt – BBC Music magazine – November 2014


“… The complex interplay of full chorus and soloists is managed beautifully and Andrew Nethsingha’s direction is both subtle and and dynamic. It is interesting to hear these capable performances of Tomkins’ music given by a choir clearly very familiar with singing his music.”

D James Ross - Early Music Review – October 2014




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