Howells: Missa Sabrinensis; Stabat Mater

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
As a composer of British choral music, Herbert Howells is sometimes considered a follower of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Hubert Parry. Yet the expansively breathed counterpoint, lush orchestral sounds, and impressionistic harmonies in his large choral works, such as the "Missa Sabrinensis" and the "Stabat Mater" on this 2005 Chandos compilation, mark him more accurately as a fellow traveler with Ralph Vaughan Williams in the English pastoral movement. Interestingly, though both men composed works for religious uses, Howells and Vaughan Williams seem to have been agnostics who viewed composing sacred music merely as an opportunity to write glorious works for choir....
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
As a composer of British choral music, Herbert Howells is sometimes considered a follower of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Hubert Parry. Yet the expansively breathed counterpoint, lush orchestral sounds, and impressionistic harmonies in his large choral works, such as the "Missa Sabrinensis" and the "Stabat Mater" on this 2005 Chandos compilation, mark him more accurately as a fellow traveler with Ralph Vaughan Williams in the English pastoral movement. Interestingly, though both men composed works for religious uses, Howells and Vaughan Williams seem to have been agnostics who viewed composing sacred music merely as an opportunity to write glorious works for choir. Recorded in 1994 and 1995 by Gennady Rozhdestvensky and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, these mystical choral works sound symphonically spacious and almost cosmic in range and depth, quite far removed from any practical ecclesiastical functions. Indeed, the "Missa Sabrinensis" seems closer in a nearly pantheistic spirit to Vaughan Williams' "Sea Symphony" in its poetic wafting, and the ecstatic singing of soprano Janice Watson, mezzo-soprano Della Jones, tenor Martyn Hill, and baritone Donald Maxwell contributes to the striking resemblance between the two works. Chandos offers remarkable reproduction in these recordings, gorgeous in the "Missa Sabrinensis," and at times bracing in the "Stabat Mater."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/20/2005
  • Label: Chandos
  • UPC: 095115242728
  • Catalog Number: 24127
  • Sales rank: 372,224

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–6 Missa Sabrinensis - Herbert Howells & Martyn Hill (76:05)
Disc 2
  1. 1–7 Stabat Mater, for tenor solo, chorus & orchestra - Herbert Howells & Neill Archer (51:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gennady Rozhdestvensky Primary Artist
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