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Hyperion Records

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Golden Days by Lee Campbell (b1951)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67853
Recording details: March 2010
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 4 minutes 3 seconds

'The performances of Winchester Cathedral Choir are so good you hardly register the need to 'assess' them—exactly as it should be in devotional music. That's a huge tribute to the state of the singing at the cathedral, and to Andrew Lumsden, who directs it. A marvellous CD, beautifully planned and executed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Howells's later works have failed to find their way into the regular repertoire but this recording by a radiant Winchester Cathedral Choir urges a thorough reappraisal. The long, fluid lines, startling cadences and massive chords which are so unique to Howells are all here in 'their' service' (The Observer)

'These are uniformly excellent performances and the recording quality is detailed yet superbly spacious. It's the first release from a renewed relationship between Winchester and Hyperion and, although I will hope for more rare Howells, I look forward to whatever else is on the cards. I highly commend this disc' (International Record Review)

Antiphon
First line:
Let all the world in every corner sing
composer
1976; SATB unaccompanied; composed for Sir David Willcocks and the Bach Choir who gave the first performance in 1977
author of text
Antiphon (I), from The Temple, 1633

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Towards the end of Howells’ composing career, in the early 1970s, Sir David Willcocks suggested that he might write some unaccompanied music for the Bach Choir. Howells responded by going to the seventeenth-century poet and divine George Herbert, and two pieces—Sweetest of sweets and Antiphon—were the result. They were first sung by the Bach Choir in 1977. Both of these motets are written in Howells’ most advanced harmonic idiom, characterized by sinuously interweaving chromatic vocal lines that come together in exquisitely complex and dissonant harmonies, yet without ever losing the sure sense that Howells always has of the music’s forward momentum, and often coalescing in surprising common chords. The affirming praise of Antiphon (‘Let all the world in every corner sing’) is all declamation and vigour, the voices ringing out bright fanfares and roulades. The central section provides a brief contrast (and a surprising quiet G major chord) before the fanfares propel us once more to the music’s ecstatic culmination marked fff.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2011

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