Bairstow: Choral Music

Bairstow: Choral Music

by St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
     
 
Edward Bairstow was a composer associated with English churches in the early part of the last century; he later taught at Durham University, where one of his students was Gerald Finzi. He has almost been forgotten, but this attractive disc by the Choir of St. John's College Cambridge under David Hill makes a case for his revival among

Overview

Edward Bairstow was a composer associated with English churches in the early part of the last century; he later taught at Durham University, where one of his students was Gerald Finzi. He has almost been forgotten, but this attractive disc by the Choir of St. John's College Cambridge under David Hill makes a case for his revival among lovers of Anglican church music. The nine selections here include a cappella, organ-accompanied, and orchestral music. Bairstow succeeds better in the smaller dimensions; although the "Five Poems of the Spirit" (1944) offer heartfelt responses to seventeenth century English religious poetry like Sir Walter Raleigh's marvelous "Purse and Scrip," Bairstow was not a terribly interesting orchestrator. Most attractive are the two "Evening Services," in D major and G major, with organ. Bairstow integrates the heavily chromatic language of late Romantic organ music into his more modest setting, often setting dense organ lines in antiphony with lyrical choral lines setting the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis texts. In anthems like "Lord, thou hast been our refuge" (track 5), Bairstow shows himself something of a sacred song composer; his dramatic unpacking of familiar sacred texts, liberally punctuated with moments of silence, shows us something of what must have been transmitted from Bairstow the teacher to Finzi the student. The boy trebles of the choir do beautifully in the many passages of the unaccompanied anthems where Bairstow sets up spatial contrasts between high and low voices. In all, there is an appealing modesty and sensitivity to these settings that will recommend them even to audiences not enamored of the genre.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/14/2007
Label:
Hyperion Uk
UPC:
0034571174976
catalogNumber:
67497

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Jesu, the Very Thought of Thee for chorus & orchestra/organ  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  - Edward Caswell  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Bernard de Clairvaux
  2. Blessed City, Heavenly Salem for chorus & orchestra/organ  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Paul Provost  - John Mason Neale
  3. Evening Service for chorus & organ in D  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Paul Provost
  4. Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge, for chorus & orchestra/organ  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Paul Provost
  5. If the Lord had not helped me, for chorus & organ  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Paul Provost
  6. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence for chorus & orchestra/organ  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry
  7. Evening Service for chorus & organ (or orchestra) in G major  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Paul Provost
  8. Five Poems of the Spirit, for solo baritone, choir & orchestra  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - Richard Crashaw  - George Herbert  -  Mary Sidney Herbert (Countess of Pembroke)  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Walter Raleigh  - Roderick Williams
  9. Save Us, O Lord, anthem for chorus & organ  - Edward Bairstow  -  Britten Sinfonia  -  St. John's College Choir, Cambridge  - David Hill  - Simon Perry  - Paul Provost

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