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Track(s) taken from CDA67593

Great is the Lord, Op 67

author of text
after Psalm 47 (48)

Westminster Abbey Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor), Robert Quinney (organ)
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

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)
Westminster Cathedral Choir, Colin Campbell (bass), Andrew Reid (organ), James O'Donnell (conductor)


'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' (Classics Today)
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

Cette œuvre fut entamée en 1910 mais, sans commande immédiate ni perspective d’interprétation, sa composition s’éternisa jusqu’en 1912; elle fut créée avec une accompagnement d’orgue en l’abbaye de Westminster le 16 juillet 1912, sous le baguette de Sir Frederick Bridge, puis orchestrée en september 1913.

Sensiblement moins complexe que bien des œuvres similaires, cette mise en musique elgarienne est découpée en plusieurs sections utilisant chacune un matériel nouveau. À l’ouverture, altos, ténors et basses sont à l’unisson, puis à deux parties et avec des passages d’harmonie en blocs. Elgar adresse le texte central «We have thought on Thy loving-kindness, O God» à une basse solo et, dans l’écriture chorale plus riche de la section conclusive, certaines inventions rappellent des moments comparables dans les oratorios.

extrait des notes rédigées par Lewis Foreman © 2007
Français: Hyperion Records Ltd

Dieser Satz wurde 1910 begonnen, aber ohne unmittelbaren Auftrag oder Gelegenheit zur Aufführung zog sich die Komposition bis 1912 hin. Das Werk wurde am 16. Juli 1912 mit Orgelbegleitung unter Sir Frederick Bridge in der Westminster Abbey uraufgeführt. Es wurde im September 1913 orchestriert.

Elgars Satz ist wesentlich weniger komplex als viele ähnliche Werke und ist in mehrere Abschnitte unterteilt, die jeweils neues Material verwenden. Am Anfang singen Alt, Tenor und Bass unisono, später zweistimmig mit Passagen von Blockharmonik. Elgar setzt den zentralen Text „Wir gedenken deiner liebenden Güte, o Gott“ für Bass-Solo und findet im üppigeren Chorsatz des Schlussteils einen Erfindungsreichtum, der an ähnliche Momente in den Oratorien erinnert.

aus dem Begleittext von Lewis Foreman © 2007
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

Other albums featuring this work

Elgar: Cathedral Music
English Choral and Organ Music
CDH55009Archive Service
The English Anthem, Vol. 5
CDA66758Archive Service
The music of Westminster Cathedral Choir
WCC100Super-budget price sampler
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