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Howells: Collegium Regale

It is mostly the religious music of Herbert Howells, redolent of the great English choral tradition but overlaid with Impressionist harmonies, that is performed these days; it fits the needs of England's numerous collegiate choirs. In Howells' own time, however, that wasn't true; he turned to church music in mid-career, partly as a result of commissions from King's College, Cambridge (the "Collegium Regale" of the album title), for some of the music heard here. There are earlier and later Howells pieces for contrast, but the core of the program consists of substantial liturgical pieces -- morning and evening canticles and a Communion Office setting -- written for King's. It is the Choir of Trinity College under Stephen Layton, among the top echelon of British choirs at the moment, that performs them here, and the recording is made not at King's, but at Coventry Cathedral. The richness of sound resulting from this combination is striking, and it's worth the price of admission even if you're not particularly partial to Howells. The music, born partly of great personal tragedy in Howells' life, takes on almost a mystical quality in places. Sample the final "Te Deum" (track 15) for the full splendid effect. A well-chosen program, very nicely performed, and superbly engineered.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/01/2016
Label: Hyperion Uk
UPC: 0034571281056
catalogNumber: 68105
Rank: 198881


  1. Rhapsody for organ No. 1 in D flat major
  2. I love all beauteous things, for chorus & organ
  3. Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, for chorus & organ (Collegium Regale)
  4. Te Deum and Jubilate, for chorus & organ (Collegium Regale)

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