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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67643
Recording details: February 2007
Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2007
Total duration: 7 minutes 50 seconds

'The disc is a splendid and colourful addition to the Abbey Choir's recordings of special services. They themselves are in fine form, sovereign (as befits the status of their church) in musical confidence, as well placed as the bright-toned voices of the boys who rise with an aplomb many opera house choruses might envy to the high Cs of the Langlais Mass, and show their mastery in still more wonderful ways by finding the notes scattered with hide-and-seek devilry in Tippet's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. And in that connection the soloist Nicholas Trapp deserves particular mention. Their style, under James O'Donnell's sure direction, is forthright and spirited, well attuned to the Jacobean mysticism of Dering's Factus est silentium as to Howell's ecstatic Sequence for St Michael … Kenneth Leighton's Responses are subtly varied and inventive' (Gramophone)

'The choir, atmospherically recorded in the Abbey itself, sings this demanding repertoire with its customary zeal and a well-blended sound, and the performances are directed with the panache and style one has come to expect from James O'Donnell. Robert Quinney's contribution as organist culminates in a Laus Deo from Jonathan Harvey aptly described by O'Donnell in his booklet note as 'the opulent psychedelia of [Messiaen's] Turangalîla compressed into four minutes'' (The Daily Telegraph)

The Preces and Responses
1964; for Dennis Townhill and the choir of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Preces and Responses are by Kenneth Leighton, who spent much of his working life as lecturer and, later, Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh. Leighton composed much excellent choral music for the Anglican liturgy. His style combines astringent harmonic language with taut rhythms. Most importantly, he has a sure instinct for liturgical scale and practicality. These responses have gained a firm place in the repertory of many choirs, and include a particularly fine and expressive setting of The Lord’s Prayer.

from notes by James O'Donnell © 2007

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