Magazine article Gramophone

A Sunday in the Life of York Minster's Choir

Magazine article Gramophone

A Sunday in the Life of York Minster's Choir

Article excerpt

'An Ebor Epiphany'

Anonymous O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness Briggs Infant holy Dove The Three Kings Dyson Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in D Howells Collegium Regale--Te Deum laudamus E Monk Venite Moore Lord, when the wise men came from far. Preces, Set III. Responses, Set III, with Collects. Psalm 113 Shephard Te Deum laudamus R Strauss Die heiligen drei Konige aus Morgenland, Op 56 No 6 (arr Shephard) Walton All this time. Jubilate Deo Widor Mass for Two Choirs and Two Organs, Op 36 Choir of York Minster/Robert Sharpe with David Pipe, Ben Horden org

Regent (F) REGCD391 (80' * DDD)

It was an excellent idea to take a specific Sunday in the church's liturgical calender as the basis for this CD's programme. We hear music sung at the services of Matins, Eucharist and Evensong, and the result is an enjoyable variety of compositions, including hymns, prayers and responses, psalms, canticles and carols. There s also the welcome opportunity to hear Widor s Mass for two choirs and two organs, well suited to the vast acoustic of York Minster. Its mighty organ is impressive in the Mass's loud passages, and colourful in Richard Shephard's arrangement of Richard Strauss's song. Elsewhere it sounds frustratingly stodgy and fails to do justice to the skilled accompaniments of organist David Pipe.

Happily, the Minster choir have more aural presence and sing well under the direction of Robert Sharpe. They just lack the final degree of polish with the placing of notes at the beginning of phrases, plus the odd moment of ensemble. However, there's a pleasing equality of tone between upper and lower voices, and their expressive singing encompasses with ease the wide spectrum of musical styles. …

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