horizontal line

Delius once said waspishly of Parry that he would set the whole Bible if you let him. David Owen Norris has also undertaken a monumental task with his three-part oratorio Prayerbook. Based on the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, UNDERPINNED by the Book of Common Prayer, Norris’s choice of texts lacks cohesion and continuity, as does the music. For instance, Part 2, God the Son under the heading of ‘Hope’, starts with the Advent O come, O come Emmanuel followed by the Compline Collect ‘Lighten our darkness’, then Hail, gladdening light (titled Calypso, but bearing little resemblance to one) followed by part of the Eucharist service. I sort of get it if I concentrate on the word ‘hope’, but logically and thematically it doesn’t make much sense. The music follows in the same haphazard way, and includes a few arrangements that add nothing to the original hymns. It’s a pity, because the scoring is imaginative, and the performers make the best of the material they have.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica


   Read full review   


To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.



Read more classical music reviews online here:



Choir & Organ, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing