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Choral music made the front page when Philip Stopford’s post as choral director of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, was closed in 2010, prompting resignations and legal action. Stopford’s music might be described as populist, but not tabloid, and it communicates quietly rather than in banner headlines. He has the gift of writing accessible but challenging music, capable of being sung by both choirs and congregations, as in the St Patrick’s Eucharist for Templepatrick, which stands out here even above the Te Deum Laudamus for St Polycarp’s, Belfast, and the lovely Festival Benedicite for Leighton Buzzard. The Ecclesium voices, with the glorious Lynda Barrett prominent among the sopranos, are instinctively responsive, exact but always relaxed, singing with joy rather than forensic nicety.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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