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Hyperion Records

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St Paulís Cathedral, the proposed new high altar (1948) by Reginald Kirby
Track(s) taken from CDA68058
Recording details: May 2013
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Engineered by Martin Haskell
Release date: August 2014
Total duration: 10 minutes 56 seconds

'It's thrilling to hear much-loved works by Stanford and Walmisley so well sung, together with less familiar pieces by Alan Gray, Michael Tippett and Charles Wood. Andrew Carwood and the St Paul's Cathedral Choir pay scrupulous attention to the tiniest of details, so that every word and note come across as something precious and sacred. The wonderfully colourful accompaniments of organist Simon Johnson are, by turns, both dramatic and lyrical. This is choral singing at its finest; in every way, listening to this glorious CD is a heavenly experience' (Gramophone) » More

'St Paul's Cathedral Choir gives us here a really fine and outstandingly sung collection of canticles, some of them quite familiar and others decidedly not. In addition, 'canticles' does not refer only to the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis; we also hear settings of the Benedicite, the Te Deum and the Jubilate' (International Record Review) » More

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
Polyphony, The Wallace Collection, James Vivian (organ), Stephen Layton (conductor)
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
'Walton: Coronation Te Deum & other choral works' (CDA67330)
Walton: Coronation Te Deum & other choral works

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