One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation


absolutely thrilling


immediacy and spontaneity


Schumann Lieder


24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs


‘Box of Delights.’


J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue


GERNSHEIM Quartets
a most welcome issue


I enjoyed it tremendously


the finest traditions of the house


music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message


ground-breaking, winning release


Charpentier
screams quality


Surprise of the month


English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

 

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Magnificat
Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924)
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in A [11:57]
Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988)
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (The Second Service), Op. 62 [11:14]
Herbert SUMSION (1899-1995)
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in A [8:11]
Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983)
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Gloucester Service) [11:49]
Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962)
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Truro Service) [7:37]
Sir Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998)
12. Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense) [7:56]
Glen Dempsey (organ)
Choir of St John’s College Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha
rec. 2018, Chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge, UK
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD588 [58:44]

The series of recordings that Signum are producing for St John’s College, Cambridge, is rapidly becoming one of the most collectible things to emerge from the recording industry in Britain today. Beautifully produced and expertly curated, each disc focuses on a composer or a theme, and Andrew Nethsingha and his crack forces do a most excellent job of bringing it to life.

For this newest release they turn their attention to something that is at the very heart of what they do: namely the evening canticles of Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis which they sing almost every evening of the year (or, at least, of term). These canticles have been at the very centre of the Anglican musical tradition since the reformation, and even longer if you count their Latin monastic antecedents, so there is an almost bottomless collection of music they could choose for this disc. With typical good sense, Nethsingha has restricted himself to British settings from the last century or so, and in doing so has produced a collection that gives a window into the inexhaustible richness and variety of what the Anglican tradition has to offer.

Stanford’s Magnificat ripples with Victorian confidence, while his Nunc dimittis is more thoughtfully refined. Leighton’s introduces an air of mysticism that’s a world away from Stanford’s symphonic conception, using ostinati that reflect the repeated pattern of daily worship and building successively towards a series of highly satisfying climaxes. There is an almost pastoral beauty to Sumison’s setting which I found very appealing, and Howells’ wonderful Gloucester Service is allowed full rein to run on its meandering way in a very attractive way, the Nunc dimittis sounding spellbinding, almost ghostly at times. Gabriel Jackson, the only living composer on the disc, writes a beautifully euphonious setting in the Truro Service. Nethsingha commissioned it back in 2001, and it derives much of its power from its practice of alternating verses between homophonic and polyphonic settings. It’s very effective, almost hypnotic in places, and the unexpected shifts of tonality make it an exciting as well an uplifting experience. Tippett’s setting was commissioned by George Guest to commemorate the college’s 450th anniversary, and it makes extensive use of the organ’s famous en chamade trumpet stop, which gives it a colour that nothing else on the disc has.

The recording is typically excellent, placing the two halves of the choir in perfectly spaced stereo, and the booklet notes are especially generous: the Dean provides a reflection on the texts, while Nethsingha himself contributes thirteen pages (!) of thoughts on the music of each setting. In short, utterly praiseworthy.

Simon Thompson



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


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