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Hyperion Records

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Tyrolean Girl Contemplating a Crucifix (detail) (1865) by Rudolph Friedrich Wasmann (1805-1886)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67558
Recording details: July 2005
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: May 2006
Total duration: 6 minutes 29 seconds

'Outgoing, excitingly resonant, spirited singing' (Gramophone)

'I doubt that you would find a better performance of Mendelssohn's sacred choral music than this. Finely executed with immaculate phrasing sensitively performed, it is clear that David Hill is leading the choir of St John's to even greater heights while it maintains its own highly individual sound. The whole production is worthy of the highest praise' (Choir & Organ)

'This is one special record' (American Record Guide)

'Some lovely—indeed memorable—performances here; including a gorgeous account of Mendelssohn's richly opulent Ave Maria, Op 23 No 2 (Allan Clayton the wonderfully yearning tenor soloist) and a gloriously magisterial Warum toben die Heiden? from Op 78 … Quentin Beer is an impressively clear and pure-voiced treble in that most famous of all treble solos—O, for the wings of a dove … the recording is a triumph. Hyperion has come up with a far more rewarding sound than either Decca or Naxos was ever able to achieve at St John's' (International Record Review)

'The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, under David Hill, simply outsings all the current competition in sacred music by Mendelssohn' (Fanfare, USA)

Ave Maria, Op 23 No 2
composer
November 1830; Three Sacred Pieces, Op 23
author of text
Antiphon for the Blessed Virgin Mary

Other recordings available for download
Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Christine Barratt (soprano), Janey Mackenzie (soprano), Joya Logan (alto), Jenny Youde (alto), Robin Mace (tenor), Julian Walker (bass), Kenneth Roles (bass), Corydon Singers, John Scott (organ), English Chamber Orchestra, Matthew Best (conductor)
Westminster Cathedral Choir, Andrew Carwood (tenor), Iain Simcock (organ), James O'Donnell (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Although Mendelssohn was a devout Protestant all his life, his setting of the Latin Ave Maria can be numbered among his most radiantly beautiful creations. Cast in three parts, the devotional simplicity of the outer sections (which share the same basic musical material) contrasts tellingly with the floated contrapuntal textures of the ‘Sancta Maria’. The tenor solo’s opening phrase is recalled, incidentally, in the final coda of the ‘Scottish’ Symphony. Heinrich Dorn wrote enthusiastically in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik: ‘The music speaks so convincingly of Mary’s sanctity that it could lead a non-Catholic to her. This sacredly joyous A major ensemble resembles a golden platter upon which the master has laid down this pure hymn. Here we find the tenderest tonal colours of edification, worship and religious thought directed towards Heaven and reflected in the eye.’

from notes by Julian Haylock © 2006


Other albums featuring this work
'Mendelssohn: Choral Music' (CDH55268)
Mendelssohn: Choral Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55268  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Last few CD copies remaining  
'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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