I saw the Lord

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I saw the Lord

  • I waited for the Lord
  • Set me as a seal upon thine heart
  • Vesperae solennes de confessore, 'Solemn Vespers', Laudate Dominum
  • And I saw a new heaven
  • Ye holy angels bright
  • Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
  • In the bleak mid-winter
  • Services, 'Collegium Regale', EVENSONG
  • (Ein) Deutsches Requiem, 'German Requiem', Selig sind die da Leid tragen
  • Candlelight carol
  • (6) Songs of Farewell, No. 1, My soul, there is a country (Wds. Vaughan)
  • Bring us, O Lord God
  • I waited for the Lord
  • Set me as a seal upon thine heart
  • Vesperae solennes de confessore, 'Solemn Vespers', Laudate Dominum
  • And I saw a new heaven
  • Ye holy angels bright
  • Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
  • In the bleak mid-winter
  • Services, 'Collegium Regale', EVENSONG
  • (Ein) Deutsches Requiem, 'German Requiem', Selig sind die da Leid tragen
  • Candlelight carol
  • (6) Songs of Farewell, No. 1, My soul, there is a country (Wds. Vaughan)
  • Bring us, O Lord God

Programme and performances are admirable; recording is a trifle dull. It may be simply a matter of distance from the choir: it is not always easy to pick up the words, for instance, and yet these are not singers who would be careless over articulation. Similarly there are occasions when the organ should be more of a presence, yet I doubt whether the organist is being particularly reticent. Balance, brightness and immediacy probably need more attention as priorities for recording.
Nothing is wrong with the balance of the choir itself. These are skilful, well-trained singers who use their ears and are scrupulous over matters of texture and intonation. Their sopranos have the purity and much of the special timbre of trebles and they blend well with the male altos. There is a good robust quality among the basses, and the tenors, light as they are, can sing out effectively when required. All of these attributes distinguish their performance of ''How lovely are thy dwellings'' from Brahms's Requiem: gracefully sung and played throughout, its climax at ''They praise Thy name'' is vigorous yet unforced, and the cascade-sequence in the soprano and alto parts could hardly be better. Soloists, drawn from the choir, all do well, especially Ghislaine Morgan in the ''Laudate Dominum''.
Robert Jones's direction secures alert, purposeful performances, so that I saw the Lord has a spring in its stride and Howells's Collegium regale Evening Service (which has been known to flounder) is kept moving. William Harris's fine setting of Donne's prayer beginning Bring us, O Lord God is sensitively shaded and cared for, though not quite making the inspired impression it did in Salisbury Cathedral's recent ''Anthems From America'' (Meridian (CD) CDE84180, 11/90). John Rutter's Candlelight Carol was an example of where I wanted to hear more of the organ part (compare a rather more effective recording in ''Carols From Canterbury'' on York Ambisonic/Gamut (CD) CD109, 12/90). It was good, incidentally, to have Parry's tune for O praise ye the Lord in its original context as the final section of a large-scale festival anthem; and it might be interesting one day to hear the Dear Lord and Father of Mankind melody (also Parry's) back in context too.'

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