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CHAN 10771M
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CHAN 10771
(multiple CD Set)

Britten: The Choral Edition

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2013

Originally recorded in 1995

Artists:

Paul Spicer


Kathryn Cook

alto

Richard Wyn-Roberts

alto

Susanna Spicer

alto

Stephen Carter

alto

Matthew Brook

bass

Simon Preece

bass

Susan Drake

harp

Robert Burt

intonation

Andrew Lumsden

organ

Belinda Yates

soprano

Carys Lane

soprano

Julie Cooper

soprano

Lindsay Wagstaff

soprano

Rachel Wheatley

soprano

Rachel Elliot

soprano

Olive Simpson

soprano

Andrew Carwood

tenor

James Gilchrist

tenor

Mark Milhofer

tenor

Jonathan Cannock

treble

Finzi Singers


Lichfield Cathedral Choir



Venue:

Church of St Augustine, Kilburn, London


Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, London



Producer:

Richard Lee



Engineer:

Ben Connellan


Richard Smoker

(Assistant: CD 1)

Annabel Weeden

(Assistant: CD 2)

Record Label
Chandos Classics

Genre:

Choir


Organ

Total Time - 197:28
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BENJAMIN BRITTEN

(1913-1976)
   
1 

Hymn to St Peter, Op 56a

5:57
 Julie Cooper soprano
 Andrew Lumsden organ
2 

A Hymn to St Columba

2:04
 Andrew Lumsden organ
3 

A Hymn to the Virgin

2:43
 Julie Cooper soprano
 Stephen Carter alto
 Mark Milhofer tenor
 Matthew Brook bass
 

Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27

10:34  
 Carys Lane soprano
 Belinda Yates soprano
 Kathryn Cook alto
 Andrew Carwood tenor
 Matthew Brook bass
4 I 'In a garden shady this holy lady' - 2:44
5 II 'I cannot grow' - 2:06
6 III 'O ear whose creatures cannot wish to fall' 5:44
   
 

Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30

17:02  
 Carys Lane soprano
 Richard Wyn-Roberts alto
 James Gilchrist tenor
 Simon Preece bass
7 'Rejoice in God, O ye Tongues' - 1:29
8 'Let Nimrod, the mighty hunter' - 1:19
9 'Hallelujah from the heart of God' - 1:04
10 'For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry' - 2:20
11 'For the Mouse is a creature of great personal valour' - 0:58
12 'For the flowers are great blessings' - 2:05
13 'For I am under the same accusation with my Saviour' - 2:49
14 'For H is a spirit and therefore he is God' - 1:07
15 'For the instruments are by their rhimes' - 2:29
16 'Hallelujah from the heart of God' 1:18
 Andrew Lumsden organ
 

Choral Dances from 'Gloriana'

9:32  
17 1 Time 1:26
18 2 Concord 2:17
19 3 Time and Concord 1:26
20 4 Country Girls - 0:58
21 5 Rustics and Fishermen - 1:00
22 6 Final Dance of Homage 2:16
   
 

A.M.D.G.

18:33  
23 1 Prayer I 2:17
24 2 Rosa Mystica 4:44
25 3 God's Grandeur 3:30
26 4 Prayer II 2:36
27 5 O Deus, ego amo Te 1:34
28 6 The Soldier 2:09
29 7 Heaven-Haven 1:26
   
30 

Jubilate Deo

2:40
  in E flat major - in C-Dur - en mi bémol majeur  
 Andrew Lumsden organ
31 

Te Deum

8:37
  in C major - in C-Dur - en ut majeur  
 Carys Lane soprano
 Andrew Lumsden organ
32 

Antiphon, Op. 56b

6:05
 Olive Simpson soprano
 Rachel Wheatley soprano
 Rachel Elliot soprano
 Andrew Lumsden organ
 

Missa brevis, Op. 63

10:20  
33 I Kyrie - 1:58
34 II Gloria - 2:40
 Robert Burt intonation
 Rachel Wheatley soprano
 Carys Lane soprano
 Lindsay Wagstaff soprano
35 III Sanctus - 1:35
36 IV Benedictus - 1:56
 Carys Lane soprano
 Lindsay Wagstaff soprano
37 V Agnus Dei 2:09
 Andrew Lumsden organ
38 

A Wedding Anthem, Op. 46

9:45
 Carys Lane soprano
 Mark Milhofer tenor
 Andrew Lumsden organ
39 

Sweet was the Song the Virgin Sung

3:00
 Susanna Spicer alto
 

A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28

21:47  
40 1 Procession - 1:29
41 2 Wolcum Yole! - 1:22
42 3 There is no Rose - 2:26
43 4A That yonge child 1:41
 Olive Simpson soprano
44 4B Balulalow - 1:15
 Carys Lane soprano
45 5 As dew in Aprile - 0:55
46 6 This little Babe - 1:25
47 7 Interlude - 3:51
48 8 In Freezing Winter Night - 3:30
 Carys Lane soprano
 Kathryn Cook alto
49 9 Spring Carol - 1:07
 Rachel Wheatley soprano
 Rachel Elliot soprano
50 10 Deo Gracias - 1:10
51 11 Recession 1:32
 Susan Drake harp
52 

Festival Te Deum, Op. 32

6:36
 Lindsay Wagstaff soprano
 Andrew Lumsden organ
53 

Jubilate Deo

2:33
  in C major - in C-Dur - en ut majeur  
 Andrew Lumsden organ
 

Five Flower Songs, Op. 47

11:16  
54 1 To Daffodils 2:10
55 2 The Succession of the Four Sweet Months 1:47
56 3 Marsh Flowers 2:19
57 4 The Evening Primrose 2:39
58 5 Ballad of Green Broom 2:02
   
59 

Advance Democracy

2:53
   
 

Sacred and Profane, Op. 91

15:45  
60 1 St Godric's Hymn 1:34
61 2 I mon waxe wod 0:43
62 3 Lenten is come 2:11
63 4 The long night 1:21
64 5 Yif ic of luve can 2:59
65 6 Carol 1:20
66 7 Ye that pasen by 2:12
67 8 A death 2:54
   
 

A Boy Was Born, Op. 3

31:16  
 Jonathan Cannock treble
  Semi-chorus:  
  Helen Groves - Mhairi Lawson soprano  
  Kathryn Cook - Elinor Carter alto  
  James Gilchrist - Andrew Carwood tenor  
  Michael McCarthy - Charles Gibbs bass  
68 Theme. A Boy Was Born - 2:04
69 Variation I. Lullay, Jesu - 4:38
70 Variation II. Herod - 2:15
71 Variation III. Jesu, As Thou Art Our Saviour - 2:56
72 Variation IV. The Three Kings 4:13
73 Variation V. In the Bleak Mid-winter - 5:29
74 Variation VI (Finale). Noel! 9:37
   
 Paul Spicer
  23 and 24 October 1995 (CD 1) & 7 and 8 March 1996 (CD 2)  
  28 and 29 April 1997 (CD 3)  


Britten’s substantial choral output ranges from small-scale pieces for boys’ choir to massive works such as the Spring Symphony and War Requiem. This three-album compilation brings together a large selection of early and late unaccompanied choral works, performed by The Finzi Singers under Paul Spicer.
 
Here, among many others, is Rejoice in the Lamb, written in 1943 for Walter Hussey, the vicar of St Matthew’s Church in Northampton, for his congregation’s Jubilee Celebrations. Hussey was interested in forging a closer association between the arts and the Church, an aim that Britten himself shared. The composer chose as his text extracts from Christopher Smart’s Jubilate Agno, a rambling poem of the mid-eighteenth century, composed largely in a mad house. Although there is a delightful sense of madness present here, the religious character of the work is the most striking.
 
A.M.D.G., seven unaccompanied settings of poems by Gerald Manley Hopkins, was among the first works written by Britten after his arrival in the US in 1939. The work’s title is an abbreviation of Ad majorem Dei gloriam (To the greater glory of God), a saying that appears throughout the writings of Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order of which Hopkins was a member. The premiere performance of this work was meant to take place in November 1939, but the outbreak of war caused the concert to be cancelled. The first performance was given by the London Sinfonietta Chorus, several years after the composer’s death, in August 1984.
 
The Finzi Singers and Paul Spicer have recorded a wide variety of British music for Chandos, much of which has not been heard before either in performance or on disc. They have been regarded as major exponents of British twentieth-century choral music.
 

"... only exceptionallly creative conductors and singers can distinguish themselves in this choral oeuvre. Without the imaginative shaping of Britten’s endlessly varies colors, moods, textures, techniques, and styles the music is stillborn. That so much of it thrives here in a single volume is a tribute not only to the composer but to Paul Spicer and his singers. Also worthy of praise are the Chandos engineers, who created a sound stage with enough clarity and breadth to let these divergent gestures play out with out becoming diffuse and without falling all over each other. Somebody pushing the buttons, in short, really understood what Britten is about. "The wise musicians", said Duke Ellington, "are those who play what they can master." Boy, did that happen here."

Philip Greenfield - American Record Guide - November 2013




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