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Track(s) taken from CDA67853


First line:
Let all the world in every corner sing
1976; SATB unaccompanied; composed for Sir David Willcocks and the Bach Choir who gave the first performance in 1977
author of text
Antiphon (I), from The Temple, 1633

Winchester Cathedral Choir, Andrew Lumsden (conductor)
Recording details: March 2010
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 4 minutes 3 seconds

Cover artwork: Golden Days by Lee Campbell (b1951)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

The Rodolfus Choir, Ralph Allwood (conductor)


'The performances of Winchester Cathedral Choir are so good you hardly register the need to 'assess' them—exactly as it should be in devotional music. That's a huge tribute to the state of the singing at the cathedral, and to Andrew Lumsden, who directs it. A marvellous CD, beautifully planned and executed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Howells's later works have failed to find their way into the regular repertoire but this recording by a radiant Winchester Cathedral Choir urges a thorough reappraisal. The long, fluid lines, startling cadences and massive chords which are so unique to Howells are all here in 'their' service' (The Observer)

'These are uniformly excellent performances and the recording quality is detailed yet superbly spacious. It's the first release from a renewed relationship between Winchester and Hyperion and, although I will hope for more rare Howells, I look forward to whatever else is on the cards. I highly commend this disc' (International Record Review)
Towards the end of Howells’ composing career, in the early 1970s, Sir David Willcocks suggested that he might write some unaccompanied music for the Bach Choir. Howells responded by going to the seventeenth-century poet and divine George Herbert, and two pieces—Sweetest of sweets and Antiphon—were the result. They were first sung by the Bach Choir in 1977. Both of these motets are written in Howells’ most advanced harmonic idiom, characterized by sinuously interweaving chromatic vocal lines that come together in exquisitely complex and dissonant harmonies, yet without ever losing the sure sense that Howells always has of the music’s forward momentum, and often coalescing in surprising common chords. The affirming praise of Antiphon (‘Let all the world in every corner sing’) is all declamation and vigour, the voices ringing out bright fanfares and roulades. The central section provides a brief contrast (and a surprising quiet G major chord) before the fanfares propel us once more to the music’s ecstatic culmination marked fff.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2011

Vers la fin de sa carrière de compositeur, au début des années 1970, Howells, à qui Sir David Willcocks avait suggéré d’écrire une musique a cappella pour le Bach Choir, se tourna vers George Herbert, divin poète du XVIIe siècle, et conçut deux motets: Sweetest of sweets et Antiphon. Crées par le Bach Choir en 1977, ils adoptent l’idiome harmonique le plus évolué de Howells, marqué par des lignes vocales chromatiques, aux entrelacs sinueux, qui se réunissent en des harmonies exquisément complexes et dissonantes, mais sans jamais perdre ce sûr sens de l’élan musical, propre à ce compositeur, en non sans s’agglutiner en de surprenants et fréquents accords parfaits. La louange assertive d’Antiphon («Let all the world in every corner sing») est toute déclamation et vigueur, les voix faisant retentir d’éclatantes fanfares et des roulades. La section centrale apporte un bref contraste (ainsi qu’un étonnant et paisible accord en sol majeur) avant que les fanfares ne nous repoussent vers l’apogée extatique de la musique, marqué fff.

extrait des notes rédigées par Paul Andrews © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Gegen Ende der kompositorischen Karriere Howells’ in den frühen 70er Jahren regte Sir David Willcocks ihn dazu an, a-cappella-Musik für den Bach Choir zu komponieren. Howells ging darauf ein, indem er sich George Herbert, einem Dichter und Geistlichen aus dem 17. Jahrhundert, zuwandte und zwei Stücke, Sweetest of sweets und Antiphon komponierte. Sie wurden erstmals 1977 vom Bach Choir gesungen. Beide Motetten sind in Howells fortgeschrittenster harmonischer Tonsprache komponiert, die sich durch wellenförmig miteinander verflochtene chromatische Vokallinien auszeichnet, die in wunderbar komplexen und dissonanten Harmonien zusammen kommen, ohne jedoch dabei jemals den für Howells charakteristischen, nach vorn gerichteten Impuls der Musik zu verlieren, und sich in überraschenden gemeinsamen Akkorden verbinden. Das bekräftigende Lob der Antiphon („Lass die ganze Welt in jeder Ecke singen“) ist in erster Linie deklamatorisch und vital und die Singstimmen lassen strahlende fanfarenartige Figuren und Rouladen erklingen. Der mittlere Vers stellt einen kurzen Kontrast dar (und es erklingt ein überraschender leiser G-Dur-Akkord), bevor die „Fanfaren“ den Hörer wiederum zu dem ekstatischen Gipfelpunkt der Musik führen, der mit fff markiert ist.

aus dem Begleittext von Paul Andrews © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Howells: Choral Music
SIGCD190Download only
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