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Harry Christophers has programmed an absorbing and carefully conceived sequence of a cappella British music spanning six centuries that invites contemplation of life and death, love and loss, creation and eternity. The poetic voices represented are no less significant than the compositional ones, with settings of Auden, Burns, Donne, Fry and Spenser among the most significant. From the first item, Harris’s dramatic Faire is the heaven, it’s evident The Sixteen are on top form and they remain so for the remaining 13 items. Whether it’s 16th-century polyphony (Weelkes, Tomkins) or James MacMillan (his hypnotic The Gallant Weaver), Christophers and his choir deliver authoritative readings of some of the most familiar music from this repertoire, with notable performances of Britten’s Hymn to Saint Cecilia and Harris’s Bring us, O Lord God. The acoustics of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, provide an ideal level of resonance without obscuring the lines. Recommended.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing