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The men and boys of Hereford Cathedral take us on a journey through the services for Easter Sunday, starting with This joyful Eastertide for Matins. It includes a chant by Edwin Monk, and Stanford’s Te Deum, Jubilate in C and Ye choirs of new Jerusalem. A slightly more abrasive note is introduced for the Eucharist with Langlais’s Messe solennelle, with Peter Dyke’s excellent playing a perfect foil to the soaring trebles in a very powerful performance. The building’s acoustics serve Byrd’s In resurrectione tua and Taverner’s Dum transisset Sabbatum I very well indeed. The day comes to a fitting end with the St Paul’s Service by Herbert Howells. Geraint Bowen’s very impressive choir performs with great energy and clear attention to detail. Under his direction the music comes to life, and the trebles, comfortable in what they do, appear completely fearless.

The choice of repertoire for Clare College comes primarily from the Roman Catholic Church. Lassus’s music includes his spectacular Magnificat octavi toni super ‘Aurora lucis rutilat’ for Vespers, skilfully sung by these talented young singers. There are three settings of the Gradual Haec dies: plainchant, Byrd and the premiere recording of Matthew Martin’s commissioned setting with organ that brings a joyful dissonance to the text. Tracks to watch out for are Samuel Scheidt’s lilting Surrexit Christus hodie, Giovanni Bassano’s delicate Dic nobis Maria, Palestrina’s five-part Terra tremuit, and a haunting Surrexit pastor bonus by Jean L’Héritier. Cambridge’s Clare College has a very high reputation for the standard of its singing, and under director Graham Ross this tradition remains in safe hands. There are some very promising singers here, which augurs well for the future.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing