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Track(s) taken from CDH55228

Blessed are all they that fear the Lord

composer
author of text
Psalm 128

Winchester Cathedral Choir, David Hill (conductor), Stephen Farr (organ), Robin Blaze (countertenor), Stephen Varcoe (baritone)
Recording details: April 1999
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: April 2000
Total duration: 4 minutes 42 seconds
 

Other recordings available for download

Magdalena Consort, Fretwork, Samuel Boden (tenor), Catherine King (soprano), Eleanor Minney (alto), Charles Daniels (tenor), Jeremy Budd (tenor), Simon Gallear (bass), William Gaunt (bass), Andrew Skidmore (cello), Peter Harvey (bass), Nicholas Todd (tenor) December 2017 Release

Reviews

'Hill breathes new life into Gibbons' musical and spoken rhetoric, using tempo and dynamics to set up conflicts between vocal lines. Perfectly complemented by Robin Blaze … the choral sound is exemplary―clean, but edged with an appealing English softness … a glorious sound' (BBC Music Magazine)

'An essential addition to any collection of English church music' (International Record Review)

'This recording is a well-balanced introduction to Gibbons' obvious musical talent' (Scotland on Sunday)
‘Blessed are all they that fear the Lord’, Psalm 128 in Prayerbook wording for the solemnisation of marriage, carries barely inferior cachet, for Boxing Day 1613 in Whitehall Chapel: ‘A Weddinge Anthem first Made for my lord of summersett’. Robert Kerr, the Scots favourite who preceded the great Duke of Buckingham in the king’s affections, had fallen for a demure court charmer, Frances Howard; unfortunately already wife to the Third Earl of Essex. James repeatedly leaned on his bishops to pronounce an annulment, then raised the young nobody to a newfangled Earldom of Somerset, to equal his blushing fiancée’s titular rank. Choral recapitulations and spatial effects enhance a graceful affirmativeness; the ensemble form’s exultant running bass Amen broadens and lengthens the circulated church version. (At times the score provides a remarkable extra boon, unique expansions.) Two years on, scandal blighted the match. The not-so-virginal bride’s murderous proclivities came to light: a Lucrezia Borgia-like poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, leading to death sentences for the pair, commuted by royal indulgence to permanent house-arrest. This contretemps did nothing to dent the setting’s cathedral popularity.

from notes by David Pinto © 2017

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