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Hyperion Records

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Seated Angels with Orbs in their Hands (c1348-1354) by Ridolfo di Arpo Guariento (c1310-c1370)
Museo Civico, Padua, Italy / Alinari / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67768
Recording details: June 2009
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 5 minutes 43 seconds

'Dove's fresh, diatonic idiom is coupled to a matchless sense of word-setting … he writes most gratefully for the voice, with the intensity of Kenneth Leighton, the bravura of Britten and the timeless ecstasy of Tavener … the Wells choristers tackle everything with aplomb, élan and evident enjoyment' (Gramophone)

'Matthew Owens has clearly prepared the choir with scrupulous sensitivity, and conducts with an incisive freshness … Dove's music is splendidly effective and brightly expressive' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Wells is currently enjoying a superb top line, rewardingly displayed in this collection of Jonathan Dove's radiant choral works, including a first recording of his sparkling Missa Brevis' (The Observer)

'Wells must currently stand as England's finest cathedral choir, and its legacy of promoting contemporary church music will remain long after every treble voice here has become a baritone, tenor or bass … as it stands today, that top line has unfailing precision of pitch and unaffected beauty of tone, while the men possess the flexibility and collective musicianship to underlay that top line with impeccable textural clarity and satisfying tonal depth … few will not respond to the sparkling and angelic 'Wellcome, all wonders in one sight!' … while 'Run, shepherds, run!' … adds a moment of high drama, reminding us vividly of Dove's operatic credentials … this disc offers some moments of pure magic and many truly uplifting experiences' (International Record Review)

'Into thy hands, using as texts two 12th-century prayers, offers evidence that modern religious choral music need not descend into wince-inducing happy-clappy idiocy. Dove charms and beguiles us, and the performances by the Wells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens are faultless. There’s also the recording quality, with the cathedral acoustic offering just enough reverberance to give the voices a heavenly glow' (

Bless the Lord, O my soul
2000; commissioned by the Eton Old Choristers' Association
author of text
Psalm 104: 1-4

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Bless the Lord, O my soul, a setting of Psalm 104, was commissioned by the Eton Old Choristers’ Association to celebrate the choristers’ part in the school’s life from its foundation by Henry VI in 1440 until the choir school’s closure in 1968. This piece is a paean of praise which is characterized by the opening flourishes on the organ and the outburst of joyful, canonic, wordless singing (to ‘Ah’) which forms the choir’s first entry. The music then moves backwards and forwards between the piano staccato chords which accompany the choir’s first line of text, more organ filigree work from the opening, and big forte chords with the choir’s wordless canon. The second section (‘who coverest thyself with light’) has the choir imitating the trebles’ first phrase in another extended canonic progression under which the organ develops the filigree figure from the start into a moto perpetuo. The opening returns with what Dove has almost now made into a mantra of the first words ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul’. The final section increases in volume, intensity and excitement to bring the anthem to a dazzling conclusion.

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2010

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