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Recorded live in the Chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge, at the Ash Wednesday service of Evensong in 2019, this CD captures perfectly the special atmosphere of the occasion. It includes familiar repertoire by Byrd and Weelkes, as well as Allegri’s celebrated Miserere, both lessons, the prayers and the organ voluntary (Bach’s E minor Prelude, BWV 548i), superbly played by James Anderson- Besant. Andrew Nethsingha and his forces are very familiar with this repertoire, but there is never a sense that such familiarity might turn any moment to complacency. Rather, it’s as if the live occasion spurs them on to even greater heights – and it’s sobering to read from Nethsingha’s liner notes how the exposed treble soloist in the Allegri, Freddie Harrison, took it all in his stride when his fellow solo treble fell ill on the day. How magnificently he reaches those crucial top Cs. A beautifully presented CD.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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