- Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Let the bright seraphim / Let their celestial conc
- Choral Dances (6) from Gloriana, for chorus (or tenor, chorus & harpsichord), Op. 53
- God Be in My Head
- Set me as a seal upon thine heart, for chorus
- Song for Athene, for chorus
- Holy Is the True Light, for chorus
- Ubi caritas, motet for chorus, Op. 10/1
- We Wait for Thy Loving Kindness, O God, for chorus & organ
- The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me, for chorus (prologue to "The Apostles")
- Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: How lovely is thy dwelling place
- Psalm 23 ("Gott ist mein Hirt"), for female voices & piano, D. 706 (Op. posth. 132)
- Vesperae solennes de confessore for soloists, chorus & orchestra, K. 339: Laudate Dominum
This is the Day: Music on Royal Occasionsby Cambridge Singers
The unifying theme behind this album is clear from its title; these are pieces that have been used in services at a variety of turning points in the lives of the British monarchy during the lifetime of Elizabeth II, including mostly weddings, but also her coronation and wedding anniversary, and the funerals of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. It's an apt tribute in 2013, the year of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of her coronation. The album offers just what would be expected of the Cambridge Singers, led by John Rutter: expert, sensitive performances of serene, comforting anthems. Even the most astringent selections, several of Britten's "Choral Dances" from "Gloriana," should still fall within most listeners' comfort zone. The choir sings with its characteristic warmth, velvety legato phrasing, and technical precision. Elin Manahan Thomas brings a light, chaste soprano to two arias, Mozart's "Laudate Dominum," and Handel's "Let the bright seraphim." The repertoire is weighted toward 20th and 21st century British works, including pieces by Elgar, Walton, Britten, H. Walford Davies, Richard Rodney Bennett, William Harris, William McKie, John Tavener, Paul Mealor, and Rutter himself. Other eras and nationalities aren't neglected, though, and there are pieces by Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, and Duruflé. The album should appeal especially to listeners looking for lovely choral performances of mellow, lush, euphonious, sometimes ecstatic repertoire.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsCambridge Singers Primary Artist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Cashing in on the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, John Rutter and his Cambridge Singers offer this disc of "royal" music, most of it associated with weddings and funerals (thus sparing us yet another "Zadok the Priest"). While it's a program of great variety--some of the choruses unaccompanied, the rest with either organ or orchestra--it's also rather a hotchpotch stylistically. Rutter adds some new arrangements for this disc, but his own original piece, commissioned for the latest royal wedding, is indistinguishable from most everything else he's ever written. Elin Manahan Thomas does a nice job on her Handel and Mozart solos. The Choral Dances from Britten's opera Gloriana, though an odd fit here, give the singers something to sink their teeth into, and they go at them with great gusto, if with little attention to diction. It all sounds good enough, but is curiously faceless. Booklet has texts and detailed, though rather slapdash, notes.
Royal occasions for music require beautiful, memorable melodies presented for awe-inspiring pomp. So this CD includes some of the most gorgeous songs and compositions in memory for the British public. The music selections for the program are flawless, the cover impressive, the booklet brimming with interesting history and details, and the choir and conductor well-regarded and famous. These compositions have been performed during the sixty-year reign of Elizabeth II for weddings, coronation, and funerals—a memorable collection. With due admiration and respect for the compositions, somehow the listener’s devoted attention wanders during the performance. Although in excellent pitch, the first soprano solo has inconsistent tone quality, and the altos and men are relegated to supporting the soaring, ethereal, ever-floating sopranos. While pleasant, there is a “same-ness” to the pieces due more to the singers and conductor than to the musical selections. It all sounds like Rutter. The overall impression is of beautiful cake frosting with sugar icing on top. A high school or church choir would benefit immeasurably from this collection—to learn new work, and to explore the composers and taste of the British monarchy. The “ladies” ever shine while the tenors and basses have a moment from time to time—e.g., Track 20 of Britten’s Choral Dances. The organ would bring welcome substance with more aggressive registration and presence. With the finest ingredients of musical program in the world, hearing much the same for 75 minutes leaves a bit of disappointment.