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Charles Wood's anthems -

'... vibrant in tone and firm as a rock ...'

The Anthems of Charles Wood Volume II. © 2002 Priory Records Ltd

Charles Wood was Cambridge professor of music for two years, between Stanford and Dent, whereas his association with Caius lasted from 1889 till his death in 1926. Priory has now issued two collections of his anthems, the first celebrating Easter to Trinity, this one devoted mainly to Advent as far as the Passion. Paradoxically, little of the music was written for Caius, and Geoffrey Webber makes the point that dates and origin of the works are difficult to pinpoint. He hazards that Oculi omnium, the shortest piece on this CD and the only one with Latin text, may have been a grace [listen -- track 9, 0:00-1:13]. By the strangest chance I happen to have a Wood manuscript dated 2 June 1912; this was indeed a grace, sung at the commemorative dinner for Alan Gray, when he gave up directing the Cambridge University Musical Society. True love's the gift appears on the earlier Priory disc (PRCD 754, reviewed by Basil Ramsey), and the Walter Scott words were taken from Canto V of The Lay of the Last Minstrel, when the malicious goblin page brings Margaret and Lord Cranstoun together.

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Copyright © 12 February 2003 Robert Anderson, London, UK


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