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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67593
Recording details: July 2006
Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Simon Eadon & David Hinitt
Release date: February 2007
Total duration: 10 minutes 24 seconds

'The Abbey Choir … give an excellent account of themselves, the trebles especially singing with the confidence of professional musicianship and with voices in fine, generous bloom. In some of the short, quieter pieces, such as They are at rest and Ecce sacerdos magnus, they achieve a standard as near perfection as any. And Robert Quinney is a tremendous asset: an organist who puts his technical skill to imaginative use, sometimes … to vivid effect. Recorded sound is both clear and spacious, and the authoritative booklet contains some evocative period photographs' (Gramophone)

'The Westminster Abbey Choir delivers its organ-accompanied programme with beautiful tonal colour and blend' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The most impressive items are Great is the Lord and Give unto the Lord, two powerfully expressive large-scale anthems composed just before the First World War. Their texts allow Elgar to explore a wide range of choral and organ effects in the service of some vividly graphic word-painting, which Westminster Abbey Choir bring to life with obvious relish' (The Daily Telegraph)

'James O'Donnell never lets a detail pass or an effect count for nothing; likewise the Westminster Abbey Choir. Rarities, such as the Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode of 1932, receive equal care and attention … above all, this disc projects Elgarian grandeur and dignity' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Every work on the disc receives a convincing performance. James O'Donnell has chosen the tempi carefully, allowing the music enough space to breathe in the Abbey's generous acoustic whilst managing to avoid any sense of dragging. The choir sings well throughout and almost without fail produces a well-blended sound. Robert Quinney's accompaniments are colourful and exciting … highly recommended' (Cathedral Music)

'The Choir of Westminster Abbey, directed by James O'Donnell, does great service in a programme ranging from his naive early pieces for his local Catholic Church, to Coronation music and an Ode, written for the unveiling of Queen Alexandra's memorial in 1932, one of his last pieces. Beautiful singing and sound quality from Hyperion' (Liverpool Daily Post)

'These choral works can be judged as small masterpieces' (ClassicsToday.com)

Great is the Lord, Op 67
composer
1910/2
author of text
after Psalm 47 (48)

Other recordings available for download
Worcester Cathedral Choir, Donald Hunt (conductor), Adrian Partington (organ)
St Paul's Cathedral Choir, John Scott (conductor), Andrew Lucas (organ)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This setting was started in 1910 but without an immediate commission or performance in view it dragged on until 1912 and was first performed with organ accompaniment at Westminster Abbey on 16 July 1912 conducted by Sir Frederick Bridge. It was orchestrated in September 1913.

Elgar’s setting is markedly less complex than many other similar works, and it falls into a number of sections each using new material. At the opening the altos, tenors and basses are in unison, later in two parts and with passages of block harmony. Elgar sets the central text ‘We have thought on Thy loving-kindness, O God’ for bass solo, and in the richer choral setting of the closing section finds invention that is reminiscent of similar moments in the oratorios.

from notes by Lewis Foreman © 2007


Other albums featuring this work
'Elgar: Cathedral Music' (CDH55147)
Elgar: Cathedral Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55147  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'English Choral and Organ Music' (CDH55009)
English Choral and Organ Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55009  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service  
'The English Anthem, Vol. 5' (CDA66758)
The English Anthem, Vol. 5
'The Music of Westminster Cathedral' (WCC100)
The Music of Westminster Cathedral
Buy by post £4.50 This album is not yet available for download WCC100  Super-budget price sampler  

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