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|Cambridge Singers||Primary Artist, Vocals, Ensemble|
|John Rutter||Conductor, Descant|
|Pat Craig||Alto (Vocal)|
|Caroline Ashton||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Paul Badley||Tenor (Vocal)|
|Nicola Barber||Alto (Vocal)|
|Michael Chambers||Bass (Vocal)|
|Simon Davies||Baritone (Vocal), Tenor (Vocal)|
|Donna Deam||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Andres Gant||Tenor (Vocal)|
|Andrew Gant||Tenor (Vocal)|
|Paul Gordon||Tenor (Vocal)|
|David Gould||Alto (Vocal)|
|Robert Graham-Campbell||Tenor (Vocal)|
|Bruce Hamilton||Bass (Vocal)|
|Mary Hitch||Alto (Vocal)|
|Frances Jellard||Alto, Alto (Vocal)|
|Karen Kerslake||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Simone Mace||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Jocelyn Miles||Soprano (Vocal)|
|James Mure||Bass (Vocal)|
|Ben Parry||Bass (Vocal)|
|Charles Pott||Bass (Vocal), Baritone (Vocal)|
|Christopher Purves||Bass (Vocal)|
|Juliet Schelmann||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Olive Simpson||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Nancy-Jane Thompson||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Julian Walker||Bass (Vocal)|
|Susanna Watson||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Julia Wilson-James||Soprano (Vocal)|
|Lucy Winkett||Alto (Vocal)|
|Mark Le Brocq||Tenor (Vocal)|
|John Rutter||Director, Liner Notes|
|Richard Craddock||Cover Design|
|Mary Elizabeth Coleridge||Poetry|
Posted September 22, 2011
The team of C. V. Stanford and Herbert Howells has prevailed in the venue of British choral music for more than a century. Howells studied under Stanford, and both composed and performed through many productive decades. This recording from 1992, now released by NAXOS in the U.S., presents canticle settings, anthems, a Requiem, sacred songs, and hymn settings. The accompanying booklet explains thoroughly the background of the composers and their music.
Spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, these prolific composers shared their training and talents throughout their careers, inspired by their religion. John Rutter directs The Cambridge Singers, which he established in 1981. The selections are light and glorious, true to the style of both composers. The melodies are flowing and airy, some with organ and others a capella. Any selection would provide a satisfactory example for a local chorus to follow when learning an anthem.
The "bookends" of this collection are most memorable: Soprano Caroline Ashton provides a lilting portrayal in the opening Magnificat in G, and the audience can easily feel the overwhelming joy of Mary at the Annunciation. The concluding hymn "All My Hope" begins with the choir in unison, then alternating with women and men, concluding unison with the Rutter descant. The songs "When Mary" and "Long Ago" convey a sweet innocence not heard frequently enough in the harsh 21st century. Additionally, the "Nunc dimittis" spotlights the skill of the tenors to smooth and even effect.
Organist Wayne Marshall shows the organ of ancient, exquisite Ely Cathedral to excellent advantage through the use of colorful stops and pleasing registrations. The organ never overshadows the chorus, but provides substance and strength to the vocal performance.
In the two decades since this recording, Mr. Marshall has continued his organist duties, recorded extensively, and toured internationally in both the classics and jazz. In May 2010 he became a Fellow of the Royal College, awarded by HRH the Prince of Wales. In 2011 he performed with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, in Stockholm, and in Berlin for a Candide revival. Mr. Marshall maintains a blog on his website for his many devotees to follow his very active career.
Director John Rutter has kept a ceaseless musical pace composing, recording, and teaching throughout the years, setting an example for innumerable musicians to follow. His compositions continue to inspire and delight audiences, this recording by Collegium Records having become an ongoing favorite. His website provides information on his many activities and accomplishments.