Herbert Howells: Requiem

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The music of Herbert Howells is a bit of a tough sell even for admirers of Ralph Vaughan Williams and other British composers of the middle 20th century. Although he was not really a Christian, most of his music is religious. But the pomp and circumstance of British music of the period is undercut by a sort of severity derived from Howells' study of Renaissance choral music and earlier English cathedral traditions. This collection of pieces, many of them quite obscure, is really beautifully performed and probably offers as good a place as any to start with Howells. The "Requiem" billed in the graphics occupies well under half the album. Composed in 1932, it was not ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The music of Herbert Howells is a bit of a tough sell even for admirers of Ralph Vaughan Williams and other British composers of the middle 20th century. Although he was not really a Christian, most of his music is religious. But the pomp and circumstance of British music of the period is undercut by a sort of severity derived from Howells' study of Renaissance choral music and earlier English cathedral traditions. This collection of pieces, many of them quite obscure, is really beautifully performed and probably offers as good a place as any to start with Howells. The "Requiem" billed in the graphics occupies well under half the album. Composed in 1932, it was not published until 1980. The work furnished raw material for Howells' single most famous piece, "Hymnus Paradisi" not included here, written after the death of his nine-year-old son from polio, and it is interesting to trace the origin of that seemingly time-specific work to earlier music. It's an unusual requiem setting that alternates English-language psalms with the Latin requiem text, and it exudes a kind of quiet warmth that makes it a distant cousin to the Brahms "German Requiem." Its tone seems to pervade most of the other works on the album, notably "Take him, earth, for cherishing" track 5, composed in memory of John F. Kennedy shortly after his assassination. Other works on the album reflect Howells' interest in earlier styles, but they are always at the service of his own aesthetic; his music is never neo-classic. The Choir of Trinity College, with its youthful, pure voices, is ideally suited to this music, and it has been honed to precision by conductor Stephen Layton. Hyperion's engineers excel in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral. Recommended to all those who enjoy English cathedral music, for this is a unique take on that venerable tradition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/10/2012
  • Label: Hyperion Uk
  • UPC: 034571179148
  • Catalog Number: 67914
  • Sales rank: 158,611

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hymn for St Cecilia, for chorus - Herbert Howells & Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (3:07)
  2. 2 Salve Regina, for chorus - Herbert Howells & Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (4:59)
  3. 3–4 Gloucester Service - Herbert Howells & Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (10:58)
  4. 4 Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing, motet on the death of President Kennedy for chorus - Herbert Howells & Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (9:00)
  5. 6–7 Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (for St. Paul's Cathedral) - Herbert Howells & Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (12:13)
  6. 8–13 Requiem, for soprano, 2 tenors, bass & chorus - Herbert Howells & Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (20:15)
  7. 9 All my hope on God is founded (tune: Michael), for chorus - Herbert Howells & Robert Bridges (3:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Trinity College Choir, Cambridge Primary Artist
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