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5.0 out of 5 stars The grand tradition of English music,
This review is from: Treasures of English Church Music (Audio CD)Recorded in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral, the Cambridge Singers under the direction of John Rutter produced a duo of discs dedicated to Music of the English Church previously issued as two separate discs, 'Hail, Gladdening Light', and its companion piece, 'Faire is the Heaven'. The discs here are straight copies of those discs; hence, if you have those already, there is no need to purchase this - on the other hand, if you do not have the other discs, this is a bargain.
On the second disc, there are six Latin motets, set by composers such as Taverner, Howells, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Philips and Dering. Anthens and Introits include notables Tomkins and Purcell, and lesser-known composers such as Amner, Bairstow and Goss. Hymns span the range from old to modern, including a hymn by John Rutter himself. The disc ends with three prayer settings, including one by the underappreciated John Sheppard, and another from William Harris, whose hymn serves as the title to the companion disc. These anthems and hymns show a powerful range of music, yet show a consistent tone also that makes it rather distinctive of the music of the English church.
The group's power and grace is second to none, particularly when singing this kind of music in a place such as Ely Cathedral, arguably the most natural of settings possible.
--The Cambridge Singers--
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic,
This review is from: Treasures of English Church Music (Audio CD)I guess you have to be partial to English church music to like this, but if you are, you will like it a lot. It is a wonderful performance and the sound quality is first rate. I love it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best all-in-one English music CD ever,
By A Customer
This review is from: Treasures of English Church Music (Audio CD)This is a re-release, as one set, of two of my favorite CDs ever: "Faire is the Heaven" and "Hail Gladdening Light" by the Cambridge singers. This is a fabulous compilation of everyone's favorite works from the English Cathedral tradition, all the way from Taverner (16th century) to Tavener (21st century). The selection of works is great and touches all the most important genres. The performance is exquisite, elegant, faultless. The Cambridge Singers have a softer, less edgy sound than the Tallis Scholars, and are more expressive, which may make them easier for some people to listen to, especially for the more recent works. They are no less musical. The Parsons Ave Maria alone brings one to tears. If you want an introduction to English church music, this is the CD to start with. Also makes a great gift, if you already love this music and want to introduce someone else to it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Quality selection, performance and packaging,
This review is from: Treasures of English Church Music (Audio CD)This two-CD set is titled accurately; these are "treasures" of English sacred music. The performance by the Cambridge singers is quite excellent. The liner notes praise the "unequaled acoustic" of the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral, and based on this recording, I cannot argue. The a cappela singing is lush but clear, and the choir's careful diction is easily heard.
The selection includes pieces that will be familiar to fans of English church music, and some that will be less familiar. Happily for me, the pieces that were new to me have become my favorites; there are no weak tracks; nothing to skip past. Over two hours of beautiful music . I strongly recommend this recording.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Glory of Anglican Church Music,
This review is from: Treasures of English Church Music (Audio CD)This has become one of my most-played albums since I bought it several months back. The performances are absolutely stunning, and the acoustics of the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral provide a lovely bloom.
There are so very many highlights on these two CDs. I suggest if you want an example of how ravishing this music can be, listen to Sir Edward Bairstow's "I Sat Down Under His Shadow" and see if you can keep a tear from your eye.
It's like a vacation in the English cathedrals listening to this divine music. Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite,
By A Customer
This review is from: Treasures of English Church Music (Audio CD)This pair of CDs is a beautifully-recorded collection of songs and hymns -- unaccompanied choral music of Howells, Tallis, Vaughan Williams, Purcell, and several other composers. The material will be particularly familiar to Anglican and Episcopal churchgoers and is a peaceful, well-presented demonstration of the choral composition skills of these English composers. The liner notes accompanying the set are extremely thorough and include translations from the Latin as needed.
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