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Touching Wood

Charles Wood's church music,
with BASIL RAMSEY


Priory    PRCD 754

The Anthems of Charles Wood (c) 2001 Priory Records Ltd

 

It is extraordinary that two Anglo-Irish composers -- Charles Villiers Stanford and Charles Wood -- should have been almost exact contemporaries. Whilst their particular compositional styles were different, the language was similar and they mostly wrote within the acceptable boundaries without bold excursions into anything unusual. Both wrote church music; both wrote for the established church in the UK.

This recording is the first of two devoted to Wood, so it includes known and virtually unknown anthems and motets. The mixed choir at Gonville & Caius College in Cambridge, which was Wood's college, give dedicated and expressive performances of this varied batch of anthems, motets, and organ music from the chapel organists. If this should be unknown territory for you, be careful, and be warned that church music can be orthodox and dull, whilst the exceptions reach for the stars. This selection keeps to the middle so the choice must be yours. Here is a fair example [listen -- track 11, 0:00-1:10] to a paraphrase of Psalm 93.

 

Copyright © 30 May 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - PRIORY PRCD 754

VISIT THE GONVILLE AND CAIUS COLLEGE WEBSITE

 

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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews