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Continuing its series of British composers, EM Records feature a world premiere recording of Stanford’s Mass in G. Scored for soloists, choir, orchestra and organ, this symphonic Mass is a very English take on Roman liturgy. It’s a strange hybrid, the six movements veering from the orchestral extravagance of a Verdi to the more scaled-down reflection of a Missa brevis.

The talented performers give committed performances under the intelligent direction of George de Voil. Unusually, the four solo parts slot nicely into the choral writing rather than standing out on their own.

The ‘other choral works’ are by Parry and Nicholas O’Neill. Parry is represented by Jerusalem, the hymn tune‘Repton’, the exhilarating I was glad (in the 1911 version for George V’s coronation) and five of the Songs of Farewell.Nicholas O’Neill’s Flyht for choir and organ is a joyous work written to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the founding of Exeter College. With texts taken from The Exeter Book(in Old English) and the writings of Samuel Wesley, the music skilfully blends together these two disparate elements. The fresh-voiced Exeter College Choir achieves a superb blend under their young conductor.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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