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Hyperion Records

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A Lake Landscape at Sunset by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)
Christie's, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55456
Recording details: June 2004
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2005
Total duration: 6 minutes 32 seconds

'The phrasing of Malcolm Archer's Wells Cathedral Choir is unobtrusively intelligent, Howells' long, powerfully expanding crescendos emerging as naturally evolving arcs in the ongoing argument. Tonal blend is excellent, and there is no superficial straining for effect whatsoever. This is genuinely devotional singing, technique placed at the disposal of the music's spiritual message. Rupert Gough's organ accompaniments are exemplary' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Rupert Gough's accompaniments are tastefully executed and help make this portrait of the range and diversity of a side to Howells all too often taken for granted a highly worthwhile release' (International Record Review)

'The sound is focused and radiant, the ensemble immaculate, and Rupert Gough provides charismatic organ accompaniment' (The Scotsman)

I love all beauteous things
composer
written for the 'Hands of the Craftsman' Festival at St Albans in 1977
author of text

Other recordings available for download
St Albans Cathedral Choir, Stephen Darlington (conductor), Andrew Parnell (organ)   This recording is not available for download
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Howells’s visit to St Albans Abbey was in connection with his commission to write an anthem, I love all beauteous things, for a Festival Service celebrating the Hands of the Craftsman exhibition in St Albans Abbey in 1977. The wonderfully apt poem by Robert Bridges manages both to imply the material things celebrated in the festival exhibition and Howells’s own ‘credo’ quoted at the beginning of these notes. The anthem opens with an extended pedal point with staccato pedal notes which brings to mind other great pedals in Howells’s output such as the last movement of Hymnus Paradisi and, perhaps more closely, the last organ Psalm-Prelude in the First Set which suggests the beating of a heart as the valley of the shadow of death is traversed. But here there is little of that nervousness as he produces a work of such sensuousness that when the three upper voices make their first entry followed almost canonically by the tenors one senses that those repeated pedal notes represent a heart beating a more personal tune.

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2005


Other albums featuring this work
'English Cathedral Music of the 20th Century' (A66018)
English Cathedral Music of the 20th Century
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) A66018  Archive Service (LP transfer)   This album is not available for download

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