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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67330
Recording details: January 2002
Hereford Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2002
Total duration: 9 minutes 14 seconds

'An outstanding collection' (Gramophone)

'What a splendid work it is, especially when sung with the verve brought to it by Stephen Layton’s choir Polyphony' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'Performances are vibrant and energetic, and attack the scrunchy harmonies with complete accuracy' (BBC Music Magazine)

'a wonderfully refreshing interpretation' (The Observer)

'This sterling collection should win Walton’s choral music many new fans' (American Record Guide)

'Every generation delivers an outstanding talent with the vision and commitment necessary to produce refreshingly individual, totally convincing interpretations. Stephen Layton's readings of Walton's choral music on this tremendous disc are without equal, supported by the high-octane, stylish singing of Polyphony and one of the finest recorded sounds I've heard for years. Layton sets a stately speed for the Coronation Te Deum, although the crisp brass fanfares of the Wallace Collection and articulate work from the choir convey a rare energy and exuberance. Buy it!’ (Classic FM Magazine)

'From fanfare to finale this is a very fine and fitting centenary compilation indeed' (Organists' Review)

'For Waltonians, this is a compulsory purchase' (HMV Choice)

'A great collection and an absolute winner' (Cathedral Music)

'On trouve chez Layton, avec des chœurs d’une beauté et d’une précision étonnantes, un surcroît de chaleur et d’investissement, ce qui place ce disque en tête de la discographie' (Répertoire, France)

Coronation Te Deum
First line:
We praise thee, O God
composer
December 1952; composed for the 1952 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
author of text
Book of Common Prayer

Other recordings available for download
St Paul's Cathedral Choir, Andrew Carwood (conductor), Simon Johnson (organ)
Introduction
Sir William Walton (1902–1983) hailed from Oldham in Lancashire and was both a chorister and an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford, before being taken under the wing of the literary Sitwell family. From the mid-1950s he made his permanent home on the Italian island of Ischia. He is unusual in that he did not teach at a conservatoire nor had he any pupils: he wrote no essays nor gave any talks about music. His compositions are wide-ranging, from the witty Façade to the monumental Symphony No 1 and the popular Belshazzar’s Feast.

Walton’s dramatic Te Deum was written for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He had in fact been working on a Te Deum setting for the First Night of the Proms in 1944 but had become side-tracked by the incidental music for Henry V. Walton seemed pleased with his work:

I’ve got cracking on the Te Deum. You will like it, I think, and I hope he will too. Lots of counter-tenors and little boys Holy-holying, not to mention all the Queen’s Trumpeters and sidedrum (Letter William Walton to Christopher Hassall, 28 November 1952).

It is a magnificent work which not only captures the pomp and power of the ceremony but also has a film-like, rather cosmic quality. Full of antiphonal effects and punctuated by brass writing, it makes use of some ideas from sonata form with both a first and second subject (‘We praise thee, O God’ and ‘To thee Cherubin and Seraphin’) and a recapitulation.

from notes by Andrew Carwood 2014


Other albums featuring this work
'Canticles from St Paul's' (CDA68058)
Canticles from St Paul's
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £7.85ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £7.85 CDA68058  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

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