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Hyperion Records

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The Adoration of the Magi (tapestry made by William Morris & Co) by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55443
Recording details: February 2001
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 2002
Total duration: 3 minutes 36 seconds

'Luminous with a sense of goodness and well-being, brightest and best of choral records for the last many months … a distinguished record' (Gramophone)

‘Fascinatingly diverse anthology … a tonal brightness and rhythmic vitality that sparkle with festive brilliance’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘This series is the richest treasure trove an Anglican musician or English choral buff could hope to find. Texts and notes are an Anglophile’s dream. Sound is stunningly rich and ringing’ (American Record Guide)

‘The eclectic and thoughtful repertoire mix make for compelling listening … warmly recommended’ (Classic FM Magazine)

‘The choral tone is pleasant, the soloists are well chosen, and the recorded balance keeps everything in perspective’ (Fanfare, USA)

'Hurrah for John Scott and St Paul's, who with this wonderful CD remind all how glorious the Epiphany repertoire is … every piece is approached as if it were the finest thing ever written, and joy is taken in rendering the simple beautiful … let us rejoice at the richness of this programme' (Organists' Review)

‘Seventy-two minutes of utter bliss. This is a disc of St Paul’s and the Hyperion team at their best. Organ and choir make an impact and what a magnificent sequence of music! … this is one of the finest discs I have heard in a long time and I have not stopped playing it’ (Cathedral Music)

‘There is much of merit here, and those who collect St Paul’s and church music in general won’t go far wrong with this one’ (The Delian)

Nunc dimittis, H127
composer
1915; composed for Richard Runciman Terry and the choir of Westminster Cathedral who gave the first performance in Easter Sunday 1915; not published until 1979 (edited by Imogen Holst)
author of text
Luke 2: 29-32

Other recordings available for download
Holst Singers, Hilary Davan Wetton (conductor)
Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
Introduction
The unaccompanied Nunc dimittis, H127, was written in 1915 and remained in manuscript form until 1979 when a published edition appeared, revised by the composer’s daughter, Imogen Holst. For soprano and tenor soloists and unaccompanied eight-part choir, the piece was written for Richard Terry, then organist of Westminster Cathedral. It was first performed liturgically on Easter Sunday, 1915, after which it was totally forgotten. The first performance of the revised version was given by the BBC Singers under Stephen Wilkinson on 11 June 1974 in Framlington Church.

Holst was passionate about the music of Byrd and Palestrina, which is clearly shown here in the modal writing, and the way the male and female voices of the choir answer each other antiphonally as, for example, at the words ‘Lumen ad revelationem gentium’. The piece was originally composed in B flat, although for the revised version recorded here the music was transposed down a semitone to A. It makes a fitting conclusion to this recital of wonderful but little-known music whose current neglect is as baffling as it is inexcusable.

from notes by Julian Haylock 1989


Other albums featuring this work
'Holst: The Evening Watch & other choral works' (CDH55170)
Holst: The Evening Watch & other choral works
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55170  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Panis angelicus' (CDA66669)
Panis angelicus
'The Music of Westminster Cathedral' (WCC100)
The Music of Westminster Cathedral
Buy by post £4.50 This album is not yet available for download WCC100  Super-budget price sampler  

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