<< -- 2 -- Rex Harley EXUBERANT PERFORMANCES
The glory of the CD -- how could it be otherwise? -- is the famous
Collegium Regale from 1945, the final item on the disc. It contains one of
the great settings of the Magnificat, from the ecstatic opening words, expressing
Mary's amazement and wonder, to the final resounding Amen. I was fortunate enough
to have been introduced to it as a chorister in Coventry Cathedral, some long time
ago, and it has remained emblazoned on my musical memory ever since. If the men in
this recording push just a little too hard on that final note, I entirely understand
why. It is an affirmation which comes straight from the heart.
The Nunc Dimittis is quite as beautiful, and Roy Rashbrook's tenor solo is
perfectly judged: poignant without becoming sentimental or cloying. And all is
framed by the splendid organ playing of Richard Moorhouse.
I suspect that there is a regular and reliable market for such a recording as
this. After all, Priory Records has been in business a long time now, keeping
alive the Anglican musical tradition. But I hope that a disc like this may make
a few converts too, for even those who may consider 'church music' too specialised
a taste for them should have their ears opened by these exuberant performances.