- Tantum ergo, for chorus
Recordings by the venerable English collegiate choirs may seem a dime (or 10 eurocents) a dozen, but this 2015 release by the Choir of Jesus College Cambridge under director Mark Williams is notable for both its thematic breadth and its range of repertoire, which spans not only the liturgical period described in the title but also origins from the Renaissance to the present day. It's the latter feature that's most interesting: rarely have the likes of Ned Rorem been seen as fitting into this setting. There's a nice intimate flow to the music, which mostly offers individualistic, sincere responses to the texts and has some exuberant numbers (Britten's "Festival Te Deum, Op. 12," track 8, and the final "I Saw the Lord" of the usually highly buttoned-down John Stainer) to go with the more contemplative pieces. Clearly responses to this will depend on whether listeners like this style of choral singing, but this is an unusually deep example that avoids stereotype and familiar paths. Signum's engineering in the choir's own chapel is exemplary.