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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55307
Recording details: February 1984
St Alban's Church, Holborn, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: April 1986
Total duration: 19 minutes 1 seconds

'Excellent in every aspect. The presence is breathtaking, the singing of both soloists and choir are quite superb, and the accompaniment by the organist, Thomas Trotter, contributes so much although at times it is barely there, just the faintest rumble. Getting all this on to tape so artistically is most creditable. Britten would have loved it. I did … reflects great credit on all concerned' (Gramophone)

'This beautifully made record deserves the widest circulation. The sound these choirs make is of great beauty, and is captured in a flawless recording full of atmosphere and warmth' (The Monthly Guide to Recorded Music)

Rejoice in the Lamb, Op 30
composer
1943
author of text
Jubilate Agno

Introduction
The music that Britten wrote in the early 1940s, following his return to Great Britain from America—and whilst he was progressing on the composition of Peter Grimes—has a remarkable energy and vitality. Still today, 60 years or so after the first performance of Rejoice in the Lamb, Op 30, it is striking how vividly and brilliantly Britten responds to the witty, idiosyncratic words of poet Christopher Smart. The text is a celebration of the creator God found in all things. It begins with a hushed prayer that leads on to an invocation of a whole series of Old Testament characters sung to some thrilling, rhythmically taxing, music. Then follows a contemplation of the poet’s cat Jeoffry and the animal’s awareness of his maker; here a solo vocal part converses playfully with an obbligato organ line just as a cat might be teased with a ball of wool. Further meditations follow—on a mouse and on flowers, both also reflections of their creator’s greatness—before the concluding sprint through an animated parade of musical instruments and a graceful Purcellian ‘Hallelujah’ that neatly brings the work to a close. It is perhaps typical of Britten that he responded to Walter Hussey’s invitation to compose a piece for an Anglican church service by writing something that was so far away from the manner of other contemporary church music. There is music here that has a deep poignancy in its most contemplative moments but it is delightfully boisterous and almost comical in the fast-moving sections.

from notes by Simon Whalley 2013

Other albums featuring this work
'Mealor & Britten: … the flowers have their angels' (SIGCD366)
Mealor & Britten: … the flowers have their angels
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00 SIGCD366  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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