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by Roderic Dunnett


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The rest of their disc is equally impressive. Indeed, they launch off with such a brittle reading of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, as clear as a bell, that Opera North should clearly sign up the Wakefield girls as Cobwebs and Mustardseeds for its next revival of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Two other composers from the current English church music scene complete the disc : Mark Blatchly, whose Give us the Wings of Faith verges on neo-Victoriana but has a growing harmonic interest that reveals a more robust, Bairstow-like quality; and Philip Moore, Bairstow's successor but one at York Minster, whose smaller and larger scale sacred works alike - often sustained by a plainsong-like substratum which gives them an alluring feeling of long line - have a tangible emotive quality to them. It is a Thing most Wonderful, composed for Wakefield diocese, makes use of a text by W W How, Wakefield's first bishop. The closing soprano duet and final bars are absolute heaven.

Ikon of St Hilda is available, price (UK pounds) 11.50 (plus 1.00 postage and packing), from the CD Secretary, Wakefield Cathedral, Northgate, Wakefield WF1 1HG, United Kingdom.

The church music compositions of Jonathan Bielby, Wakefield Cathedral's Director of Music and Master of the Choristers, have just been published in an attractive three-volume edition (anthems l974-92, anthems l993-5, and Wakefield Mass plus Morning and Evening Services). It is available, priced (pounds) 9.95 (plus 1.00 p+p) each volume, from Wakefield Cathedral Bookshop at the address above.

Copyright © 29 July 2000 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK




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