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Track(s) taken from CDA66826

Tis the day of Resurrection

composer
author of text
translator of text

St Paul's Cathedral Choir, John Scott (conductor)
Recording details: June 1995
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: April 1996
Total duration: 5 minutes 39 seconds
 

Reviews

'St Paul's is the king of cathedral choirs, and the sound of their singing, with the majesty of the organ in the awesome reverberance of the great building to match, is as rich and noble as any sound on earth' (Gramophone)

'Truly heroic performances from the St Paul's Choir which is on top form. A memorable record' (Organists' Review)
The music of Charles Wood (1886-1926) has featured on all discs except Volume 2 of this series, and biographical material on him may be found in other volumes. Here, a claim is made for Wood to be the most important educationalist after Stanford and Parry. Like R O Morris, Wood’s influence on English music was widely felt through his pupils both at the Royal College of Music and at Cambridge. Time and time again one finds that Wood was a teacher of a noted composer, his pupils ranging from Vaughan Williams to Armstrong Gibbs, taking in Thomas Beecham, Sir William Harris and Sir Michael Tippett.

Wood appears not to have been an ambitious man and much of his music, including his string quartets, was published posthumously. Some of his anthems are well beyond the abilities of most parish choirs, and Tis the day of Resurrection is one such work. This is a setting of J M Neale’s translation of an ancient Greek Ode by St John Damascene. The work is in two principal sections headed heirmos and troparia which correspond to the two sections of an ode. The heirmos contains some impressive writing with canonic motifs debated between parts and between the two choirs. The second section, or troparia, is marked ‘Andante’ and opens with one choir singing the Genevan tune Au fond de ma pensée in a version by Goudimel (used also in his anthem Out of the deep). The second choir replies with elaborate imitative writing in direct contrast to the block harmonies of the hymn. This sort of writing can be found in German organ music in particular in the first half of the nineteenth century, the most well-known example being found in Mendelssohn’s first Organ Sonata (1844). The final section of Wood’s joyful Easter anthem is a recapitulation of the opening material, now set to new words. This strong ternary form gives the music a firm structure, often a characteristic of the most successful anthems.

from notes by William McVicker 1996

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