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There was a Child is a 50-minute oratorio written in memory and joyous celebration of a young life that ended at the age of 19. Dove’s adroit choice of poetry, orchestrated with imagination and humour, provides an endearing story of a boy through to adolescence, and although there is pathos it is never mawkish. The composer writes tuneful, accessible music, its roots lying within the great English choral tradition, and his use of three types of choir – adult, female youth and children – provides a diverse quality of sounds. Simon Halsey extracts the very best from the performers to give a sparkling interpretation of the work. My only regret is that the large forces required might limit performances of this excellent oratorio.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing