Sir William Henry Harris: Choral Music

Sir William Henry Harris: Choral Music

by The Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
     
 

From 1933 to 1961, William Henry Harris served British royalty as organist at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, and he composed a large amount of organ and choral music for the many services under his direction. Later knighted, but known affectionately to his choristers as "Doc H," Harris acquired a reputation for composing solidly crafted and conservative… See more details below

Overview

From 1933 to 1961, William Henry Harris served British royalty as organist at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, and he composed a large amount of organ and choral music for the many services under his direction. Later knighted, but known affectionately to his choristers as "Doc H," Harris acquired a reputation for composing solidly crafted and conservative anthems, 12 of which are presented on this 2006 release in Naxos' series of English Church Music. The most familiar of these pieces -- composed in the manner of Hubert Parry's choral works -- are "Faire is the heav'n" and "Bring us, O Lord God," though most are infrequently performed, and some appear for the first time on CD. In reverent performances by the Choir of St. George's Chapel, directed by Timothy Byram-Wigfield and accompanied on organ by Roger Judd, Harris' music is consistently devotional and quite gentle in character; and there is an unexpected intimacy to these sacred pieces that seems better suited to quiet Anglican services than to the official ceremonies for which they were used. The performances by men and boys reflect English practices of choral singing dating back to Tudor times, for which Harris felt a particular fondness; and his settings of that period's great poets -- Edmund Spenser, John Donne, and George Herbert, to name but three -- also fits with his nostalgia for the Renaissance and love of ecclesiastical and royal traditions. The sound of this recording is pleasant and generally clear, though a little soft and subdued, and the choir is seldom truly loud, perhaps to counteract the blurring effect of the chapel's highly resonant acoustics.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/12/2006
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313014873
catalogNumber:
8570148
Rank:
319702

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. O Hearken Thou, for chorus & organ  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  2. Strengthen Ye the Weak Hands, for chorus  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Ben Alden  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  3. Faire Is the Heaven, for chorus  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Edmund Spenser  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  4. Love of Love and Light of Light, for chorus  - William H. Harris  - Robert Bridges  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Ronan Busfield  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  5. King of Glory, King of peace  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - George Herbert  - Roger Judd  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  6. Praise the Lord, O My Soul, for chorus  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Giles White  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  7. The Night Is Come, for chorus & organ  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Thomas Browne  - James Birchall  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  8. The Shepherd-Men, for chorus & organ  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Anthony C. Deane  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  9. O Joyful Light of the Heavenly Glory, for chorus  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Giles White  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  10. From a Heart Made Whole, for chorus & organ  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Algernon Charles Swinburne  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  11. I Said to the Man, for chorus & organ  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - Roger Judd  - Gareth Dayus-Jones  - Minnie Louise Haskins  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  12. Bring Us, O Lord God, for chorus  - William H. Harris  - Timothy Byram-Wigfield  - John Donne  - Roger Judd  -  Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

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