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Record Box

Cathedral setting

Howells in ecclesiastical mode,
by BASIL RAMSEY


Priory    PRCD 782

The Complete Morning and Evening Canticles of Herbert Howells, Volume 3 (c) 2002 Priory Records Ltd

Herbert Howells (1892-1983) was a dilettante in English music, and of immense capability as a composer, teacher, and lecturer. His music reflected his passions and his aristocratic bearing, which became a natural characteristic.

In the forties and fifties he turned again to church music, and commenced a series of Anglican canticle settings, the first of which [listen -- track 1, 0:03-1:10] was composed for King's College, Cambridge, and remains a modern classic in style and quality. There followed a string of settings, each written for and dedicated to cathedrals and collegiate chapels.

This CD collection selects well, including an evening canticle setting for mens' voices from 1935, and the majestic Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for St Paul's Cathedral from 1951.

The only regret to my mind is a mixed choir -- The Collegiate Singers -- used here, when the composer certainly wrote with boys in mind for the treble part. But they acquit themselves well.

Copyright © 7 September 2002 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

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The Complete Morning and Evening Canticles of Herbert Howells Volume 3

PRCD 782 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 71'29" 2002 Priory Records Ltd

The Collegiate Singers; Andrew Millinger, conductor; Richard Moorhouse, organ

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B minor (1955); Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for men's voices (1935); The Winchester Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (1967); St Augustine's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (1967); Dallas Canticles (1975); Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for the Cathedral Church of Hereford (1969) (world première recording); Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for St Paul's Cathedral (1951)

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PRIORY'S HOWELLS CANTICLES VOL 2 REVIEWED BY BASIL RAMSEY

CANTICLE SETTING AND SINGING, WITH BASIL RAMSEY

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