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It is hard to bring a fresh approach to ‘Let all the World in Every Corner Sing’ so famously set by Vaughan Williams, but Paul Mealor has done so in the first track of this recording (after a punchy first verse he inserts part of Psalm 150 to create a contemplative second, featuring a limpid soprano solo, and then surrounds verse three with pealing bells). He also presents ‘In the bleak midwinter’ in an appealing new guise as the last of three Christina Rossetti settings; and other settings of familiar texts are equally convincing. Many of these works reflect the romantic, emotional style people expect when they commission Mealor, full of beautiful solo lines and ethereal soprano sound, sensitively delivered by the young Voce Chamber Choir of New England. I loved the music, which stands up well to anthologising; an Evening Service for Selwyn College, Cambridge was a particular highlight, as was an intriguing sequence of three Shakespeare texts, ‘Let Fall the Windows of Mine Eyes’. I was less happy with the recording quality, which meant that I needed headphones to hear the quiet passages properly and even then I was constantly adjusting the volume control.

CLARE STEVENS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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