<< -- 2 -- David Thompson The test of time
Some, of course, may prefer a more lusty, congregational sound, but the
refinement of a well-trained choir enables the listener to appreciate the
quality of both verse and music, which is surely a better option for repeated
I much enjoyed the present collection, which features a number of my
personal favourites. The Choir of St Mary, Warwick is a fine ensemble --
clear and musical, without being in the least bit precious. Words are clear,
and the hymns, presented in their entirety, are imaginatively varied in
terms of solo, a capella, sectional and tutti singing. Monotony
is entirely avoided.
Highlights for me included 'Love of the Father, love of God the Son',
sung to Gibbons' noble Song 22, a timeless tune, rolling on
with confident inevitability [listen -- track 3, 2:23-3:00].
The tender sentiments of 'Shall we not love thee, Mother dear?' are perfectly
conveyed in Dykes' Beatitudo, whilst, in complete contrast,
Purcell's sturdy Westminster Abbey is an ideal vehicle for Neale's
fine translation, 'Blessed City, heavenly Salem'.
If hymns are your thing, you will delight in this collection, and perhaps
be inspired to go on to justify the faith of Priory, in making this huge
legacy available to us. The booklet is the very model of what these things
should be, with a history of hymnody, substantial informative notes on each
hymn and tune, and the complete texts.
Copyright © 23 February 2002
David Thompson, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - PRIORY PRCD 706
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