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Blackford directs his own Mirror of Perfection, settings (in Italian) of poems of St Francis of Assisi, in a recording dating from 1997. The recording balance generally favours the soloists and the chorus often sound a bit muffled if not distant within the sound perspective. This is a pity, as this 35-minute work is immediately attractive and rewarding, and this CD should win Blackford many new admirers. The Bournemouth Symphony Chorus of the period is very accomplished and this piece would be worth investigation by many choral societies looking for new repertoire. The BBC Singers under David Hill give a typically authoritative performance of Blackford’s Choral Anthems, which are totally ignored – texts apart – in the liner notes. The setting of the 15th-century text Lullay my liking is especially effective. The performances benefit from excellent support on the organ from Iain Farrington.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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