Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

A Choral Christmas
The Rodolfus Choir/Ralph Allwood
rec. 3-4 September 2010, St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead, London
Full texts included
Detailed Track-Listing at end of review
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD257 [65:29]

Experience Classicsonline


Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) “Lully, lulla” [3:27]
Philip RADCLIFFE (1905-1986) “The Oxen” [2:43]
William BYRD (1540-1623) “Lullaby, my sweet little baby” [6:09]
Sir John TAVENER (b.1944) “The Lamb” [3:56]
Chris CHIVERS (b.1967) “Ecce puer” [2:04]
Morten LAURIDSEN (b.1943) “O magnum mysterium” [6:46]
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958 “The truth sent from above” [2:59]
Eric WHITACRE (b.1970) “Lux Aurumque” [3:57]
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) “Lullay my liking” [3:41]
Francis POULENC (1899-1963) “O magnum mysterium” [3:37]
Sir John TAVENER (b.1944) “O, Do not move” [1:49]
Giovanni da PALESTRINA (1526-1594) “Alma redemptoris mater” [2:42]
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) “Welcome, Yule!” [1:11]
Thomas RAVENSCROFT (1582-1635) “Remember, O thou man” [2:27]
Elizabeth POSTON (1905-1987) “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” [2:59]
Tomas Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) “Ave Maria” [4:44]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1892) “The Crown of Roses” [2:37]
Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) “Bethlehem Down” [5:12]
Sir John TAVENER (b.1944) “Today the Virgin” [2:37]
 
The Rodolfus Choir, founded in 1984, is made up of singers aged from 16 to 25. They have been chosen from past and present members of the Eton Choral Courses as prospective choral scholars. Many members of the Choir are choral scholars; some are at Music College, and most hope to make a career in music. Several of their discs have been reviewed favourably on Music Web International and John Quinn very much enjoyed their “Bach B Minor Mass” (review).
 
The present recording was released last year with BBC Music Magazine and now comes as a full price CD (and well worth it). It is not to be confused with a previous disc “ A Christmas Collection” made in 2002. There was also a BBC CD of Bach Christmas music recorded in 2005 in Eton Chapel.
 
On this excellent CD Ralph Allwood has chosen old favourites, lesser known carols and Renaissance pieces by the likes of Byrd and Victoria, together with works by Poulenc, Tavener and Lauridsen. The music selected fits this splendid choir like a glove and demands the listener’s full attention; certainly not a disc for background sound; which I hate anyway!
 
The booklet is exemplary and has easy to read full texts, details on all the items, a short interview with Ralph Allwood, biographies and the names of the entire choir. Daniel Jeffe who writes on the works explains clearly how the compositions came to be and their influences. All very informative and will lead many to explore more by the composers.
 
Listening to the disc, one is immediately struck by the well blended sound of the choir. The two twentieth century pieces are sublime. Kenneth Leighton composed ““Lully, lulla” when he was only 18 and like Philip Radcliffe followed the tradition of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Both these carols show off the strengths of the choir with the splendid female singers counter-balancing the tenors and basses. “Lullaby, my sweet little baby” by one of my favourite composers, William Byrd shows off the skills of his polyphonic style. I’ve known John Tavener’s “ The Lamb “, set to words by William Blake, for over twenty years and here is fresh and vital as is his “O, Do not move” which was new to me. The final Tavener item the lively and uplifting “Today the Virgin” closes the recital. It was written in 1989, with words by Mother Thekla, (1918-2011) who had a huge influence on Tavener. These show the strong inspiration of the Russian Orthodox Church to which he was converted in 1977. My grandparents knew the Tavener family at a Presbyterian Church in Hampstead.
 
Eric Whitacre is a modern composer who I got to know through “This Marriage” sung at a cousin’s wedding; my introduction to this composer. “Lux Aurumque” has an ethereal quality and is beautifully sung here. It is deservedly one of his most popular works. “The Crown of Roses” by Tchaikovsky will surprise those unaware of the composer’s church music, which is considerable despite his doubts of faith, and could be a good example of “ Guess the composer?’ It is followed by Warlock’s popular “ Bethlehem Down” sung very soulfully here, although I thought it slower than I was used to. Along with Carol service staples Allwood has chose Christmas pieces by Palestrina “Alma redemptoris mater” a double-chorus motet and Lauridsen’s “O magnum mysterium”; both handsomely done. Lauridsen says he wanted" a quiet song of profound inner joy, a piece to resonate immediately and deeply into the core of the listener, to illumine through sound” and for this listener he certainly has. Chris Chivers, presently a London vicar has produced a fine carol in “Ecce puer” helped by his time at Kings College School Cambridge; I look forward to hearing more from him.
 
“Lullay my Liking” is ravishing, and “The truth sent from above” with fine solos, represent English music stalwarts Holst and Vaughan Williams. Poulenc’s “O magnum mysterium” is popular this year on Christmas records and quite rightly so! Hubert Parry’s cheerful “Welcome Yule” seems almost to be over before it starts. Its good to hear music from Thomas Ravenscroft and it fits well between the Parry and a refined rendition of the appealing “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”. Thomas Luis de Victoria is regarded by many as the eminent composer of his era and his “Ave Maria” is sung quite gloriously.
 
From start to finish this is a superb recital and I’m delighted it is available widely to the public. The test of a good CD is wanting to play it again immediately and this is certainly one. A Christmas record to be delighted to give or receive!
 

David R Dunsmore
 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.