Music and Vision homepage


<<  -- 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.

Copyright © 9 July 2003 Rex Harley, Cardiff, UK


The Complete Morning and Evening Canticles of Herbert Howells Volume One

PRCD 745 DDD Stereo 65'05" 2000 Priory Records Ltd

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

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G (1918); The 'Sarum' Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (1966); Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense (1957); The York Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (1973); Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for Men's Voices and Organ (1941); New College, Oxford (1949?); Collegium Regale (1945)



 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Daniil Shtoda >>