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The 16-strong, mixed-voice Proteus Ensemble makes its debut on disc with a moving ‘sequence of music and readings for remembrance’ marking the centenary of the beginning of the first world war. Later and largely modern musical pieces (only Parry’s solemn Elegy can claim propinquity with the Great War) lend the period readings a poignant topicality. Tavener’s Exhortation is luminously sublime, MacMillan’s Serenity seethes with emotion, David Briggs’s Messe pour Notre-Dame a work of powerful chiaroscuro contrasts. The rest of the programme is no less satisfying, Stephen Shellard coaxing singing of nuanced conviction from his promising new ensemble, Christopher Allsop providing sure and subtle accompaniment on Worcester Cathedral’s Tickell organ.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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