<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson MERRY OR SAD
A bonus at the end of the CD is three movements from the Dublin version
of the Lamentation. They demonstrate Boyce's increased maturity
and meticulous care for a more exciting vocal line.
By contrast, St Cecilia sweeps in on joyous flourishes from trumpets
and drums, with rushing strings as buoyant as those that welcome Handel's
Queen of Sheba. The ensuing chorus becomes deftly fugal, as well it might
when contemplating the saint's various accomplishments:
|On Earth she ev'ry Pow'r can quell|
And bring departed Ghosts from Hell.
The only vocal trio in the two works celebrates peace and plenty in a
delectable ensemble led by the boy soprano, Patrick Burrowes [listen
-- track 25, 0:24-1:24].
A militant bass aria gives Michael George virtuoso opportunities and
demonstrates the saint's skill in battle, when she inspires even cowards
to forget their fright. The final chorus raises the woman to a saint as
she enters the gates of heaven [listen track 27,
The two works, so different in aim, show Boyce on top form. William of
Wykeham's New College, now so venerable a foundation, can produce English
chapel singing at its best, both sensitive and robust. Like George II, Boyce's
patron, the Hanover Band is based mainly in England, and responds under
Graham Lea-Cox to all the text nuances, whether merry or sad.
Copyright © 6 May 2001
Robert Anderson, London, UK
CD INFORMATION - ASV CD GAU 208
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