BRITTEN Choral Works
The approaching procession in A Ceremony of Carols, vividly effective, sets the tone of confidence which rings through the performance. The balance of harp and voices is admirable, with enough separation to make the interplay of tone qualities particularly fetching. At times the hard-surfaced tone of the boys seems to evoke a suggestion of edge from the harp too. In fact, though, the choristers produce many kinds of tone throughout the piece. At particularly dramatic moments they sharpen their knives, but the reverberation of their tone as it goes off down the nave sings round and true. The solo work is unusually mature. For this one work alone, the record is strongly recommended, but there is much else besides. The boys' ability to harden their voices as required serves them well in the Misa brevis, in which the synchronization with the organ is thoroughly secure at all times. Speeds are nicely judged and every detail is clear—so keep the volume fairly well up so as not to miss any of it. Boys and men together make a bright strong blend, but it becomes a little harder to hear the words. The Jubilate Deo here recorded is a fairly recent publication. I find it a better setting than the well-known C major one. A record full of character and not to be missed.'