Magazine article Gramophone

Second Set of Chandos Anthems from Trinity

Magazine article Gramophone

Second Set of Chandos Anthems from Trinity

Article excerpt


Chandos Anthems-No 5a, I will magnify Thee, O God, HWV250a; No 6a, As pants the hart, HWV251/J; No 8, Ocome, let us sing unto the Lord, HWV253 Susan Gritton sop Iestyn Davies counterten Thomas Hobbs ten Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Stephen Layton

Hyperion (F) CDA67926 (75' * DDD * T)

Three cheers for three more anthems for the Duke of Chandos to complement the three already available from the same conductor and choir (Hyperion, 7/09). His Grace's musical establishment was much smaller than the sizeable forces employed here but many listeners will enjoy hearing Handel performed on a relatively grand scale.

As the composer recycled some of the numbers in his oratorios, choral performances are quite appropriate. And Stephen Layton directs his young singers with such a perfect control of texture and rhythm that there's no hint of stodginess. Just listen to the way 'Tell it out among the heathen' in O come, let us sing unto the Lord swings along in its triple-time confidence.

At 30 minutes, O come, let us sing is the longest of the three. The final chorus includes semiquaver runs, which the tenors execute with impressive precision (as they do in the opening chorus of I will magnify thee). Susan Gritton charms with the dotted rhythm of 'O magnify the Lord' and Thomas Hobbs--assisted by violins and recorders--delicately evokes a pastoral scene in his first air. Another tenor air is assigned to the countertenor Iestyn Davies who, not surprisingly, sounds a little uncomfortable with the low notes.

The plum in As pants the hart is the soprano's 'Tears are my daily food'. …

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