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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67557
Recording details: June 2005
Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: November 2005
Total duration: 8 minutes 21 seconds

'James O'Donnell proves himself master of two Westminster traditions: the Collegiate Abbey style is as assured as his former 'continental' Cathedral persona. Best are the persuasively-layered Britten Te Deum, and conspicuously bouncy Walton Jubilate. The Tomkins reponses almost purr with effortless control' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is glorious music sung to perfection' (American Record Guide)

'I'm so taken with this program that I frankly rebel at the notion of spending one sentence, much less a paragraph, on the topic of alternative recordings' (Fanfare, USA)

'The setting's generous acoustics play their own part, bathing the entire recording in a warm, luxuriant glow. Those with even the vaguest interest in choral music will undoubtedly want to add this fine recording to their collection' (HMV Choice)

Te Deum in C
composer
1934; written for Maurice Vinden and the choir of St Mark's, North Audley Street, London, who gave the first performance in 27 January 1936
author of text
Book of Common Prayer

Other recordings available for download
Holst Singers, Stephen Layton (conductor), David Goode (organ)
St Paul's Cathedral Choir, John Scott (conductor), Andrew Lucas (organ), Connor Burrowes (treble)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Benjamin Britten’s early Te Deum in C dates from 1934 and is the first of two settings of that text in his small output of church music. It is an effective work of great economy and formal clarity. From the outset the organ asserts itself as equal partner to the choir which grows from a hushed beginning with a simple chord of C major, edgily underpinned by the organ pedals’ bell-like marcato, into a dramatic cry of ‘Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Sabaoth’, at which point the music suddenly leaves C major for the first time, eventually settling gently into a peaceful A major. Now a treble soloist takes over (‘Thou art the King of glory, O Christ’), the organ pedal motif still in evidence, and the choir gently echoing the words ‘O Christ’. At ‘O Lord, save thy people’ the opening sound and style returns, skilfully using the basic chord of C major to build tension and excitement towards the climax ‘And we worship thy Name’ and animato coda (‘Vouchsafe, O Lord: to keep us this day without sin’), giving way finally to the serene ‘let me never be confounded’ which returns us to the low-lying C major with which we began.

from notes by James O'Donnell © 2005


Other albums featuring this work
'Britten: Christ's Nativity & other choral works' (CDA66825)
Britten: Christ's Nativity & other choral works
'Passiontide at St Paul's' (CDH55436)
Passiontide at St Paul's
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55436  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  

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