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This wide-ranging disc of British folk song settings on a nautical theme for a cappella choir embraces some well-known examples from Vaughan Williams, Grainger, Moeran (‘The Sailor and Young Nancy’) and Warlock (‘Yarmouth Fair’) alongside contemporary responses by, among others, James MacMillan, Judith Bingham and Hilary Campbell, in premiere recordings. Under founder-director Hilary Campbell, Blossom Street offers an attractive programme that shows off the group’s best qualities: impeccable balance between the voice parts (the sweet-voiced sopranos are especially appealing) and excellent intonation. One suspects that a less resonant recording venue might have improved the recording a touch, as well as assisting the clarity of the group’s diction. Campbell’s own ‘Blow the Wind Southerly’ is a particularly effective arrangement and here given a most affectionate reading.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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