One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,196 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements


Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

 

Recordings of the Month

October


Aho Symphony 5


Dowland - A Fancy


MÄNTYJÄRVI - Choral


Rachmaninov_ Babayan

September


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


TAKEMITSU MESSIAEN


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Schubert Symphony 9

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

 

 

 

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Serenity, Courage, Wisdom - A Sequence of Music and Readings for Remembrance
see end of review for track listing
Gabrielle Bullock and Peter Atkinson (readers)
Proteus Ensemble/Stephen Shellard
Christopher Allsop (organ)
rec. Worcester Cathedral, England, 29-30 October 2013 and The Elgar Music School, Worcester, 4 November 2013
REGENT REGCD435 [66:12]

The title of this disc – Serenity, Courage, Wisdom – alludes to the ‘Prayer for Serenity’ by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. It’s an unusual and very special issue, a programme of poetry and music devised by the two people who deliver the various readings – the actor Gabrielle Bullock, and the Dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson. Though recorded last year, it is clearly intended to commemorate the outbreak of World War One, a century ago.

The music has mostly been recorded in Worcester Cathedral, and the performers are conductor Stephen Shellard’s recently-created group, the Proteus Ensemble. The name is taken from the Greek god of the sea, who could change his shape at will – thus a musical ensemble flexible in its component parts. Their singing is committed and impassioned, though there are sometimes some strange sounds from the tenor section.

It is a beautifully designed sequence, for there is a thread running through it all, namely the movements of David Briggs’ Messe pour Notre Dame. This fine work has already been recorded, together with other pieces by the same composer, by Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (Hyperion CDA67808). In this context it acquires a new poignancy. Christopher Allsop provides the discreetly numinous organ accompaniment. Briggs’ dark and often tortuous harmonies – the Agnus Dei is especially fine - contrast well with John Tavener’s simplicity and directness in the two works of his here. The second, on track 14 has the title Kohima, and sets John Maxwell Edmonds’ famous words.

“When you go home
Tell them of us, and say,
For their tomorrow
We gave our today"

Also included are Edgar Bainton’s fine anthem, And I saw a new Heaven, as well as the unaccompanied motet Quam Dilecta by former organist of Worcester, Donald Hunt, recorded here for the first time. James MacMillan is represented by his Serenity, which begins with almost Victorian sturdiness, but unfolds, as always with this composer, in unexpected and delightful ways. Pierre Villette’s Jesu, dulcis memoria brings a welcome touch of Gallic insouciance. The disc concludes with more Briggs, this time the moving anthem O Lord, support us.

The interspersed readings are as imaginatively chosen as the music. I was particularly struck by the Ivor Gurney poem that I had not encountered before; To His Love is touching, but also deeply shocking. As for that great American Robert Frost’s poem Not to Keep it says so much and so economically.

A disc then for contemplation, but also for profound literary and musical enjoyment.

Gwyn Parry-Jones

Track listing
Reading – Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, vv. 1-8 [1:31]
Sir C.H.H. PARRY (1848-1918)
Elegy [3:22]
Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937)
To His Love [0:52]
David BRIGGS (b.1962)
Messe pour Notre DameKyrie [5:21]
John TAVENER (1944-2013)
Exhortation (They Shall Grow Not Old) [3:20]
Dame Edith SITWELL (1887-1964)
Still falls the rain [2:31]
Edgar BAINTON (1880-1956)
And I saw a new Heaven [5:44]
Robert FROST (1874-1963)
Not to Keep [1:55]
Donald HUNT (b.1930)
Quam dilecta! [4:40]
Siegfried SASSOON (1886-1967)
Everyone Sang [0:42]
David BRIGGS
Messe pour Notre DameSanctus [3:12], Benedictus [3:31]
Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986)
Méditation [3:54]
John TAVENER
Kohima (When you go home) [1:45]
Margaret P. COLE (1893-1980)
The Veteran [0:55]
David BRIGGS
Messe pour Notre DameAgnus Dei [6:06]
James MACMILLAN (b.1959)
Serenity [4:52]
Charlotte MEW (1869-1928)
May 1915
Pierre VILLETTE (1926-1998)
Jesu, dulic memoria [1:17]
Laurence BINYON (1869-1943)
For the Fallen [0:21]
David BRIGGS
O Lord, support us [6:49]