Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Parry, Stanford, Choir of Trinity College|
Motets / Magnificat
Similarly Requested CDs
Das Land ohne Musik?
Friend of British music | New York City | 12/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wish BMG (or someone else) would re-release this 1987 album of a cappella anthems by Parry and Stanford because the invention in this music by both composers - their compositional craftsmanship and inspiration, extraordinary sensitivity in setting carefully chosen texts (Latin and English), and firm grounding in the musical traditions of their predecessors - represents an apotheosis of late Victorian and early twentieth century Anglican choral music. The enthusiast or connoisseur of English church music that followed these works ought to be familiar with them. For Parry, the six Songs of Farewell using texts of English poets from the era of Elizabeth I to Queen Victoria as well as Psalm 39 were a valedictory statement of his art and accomplishment. Likewise with Stanford.
As to performance, I cannot think of another compendium of these unaccompanied choral works that is as perfectly and meaningfully realized through an entire disk as the one the listener encounters in these performances by the choir of Trinity College, Cambridge; control of phrasing, intonation, and dynamics makes this recording one of the very best this listener has heard during almost fifty years spent listening to and performing in music of this kind. The Trinity College Choir comprises mature male and female voices singing with almost no vibrato which sets it apart from the usual English model of all-male choirs that occasionally lapse into countertenor hootiness and the intonation problems of immature treble voices. I think it's fair to assert that adult choristers usually render texts with greater emotional weight than children do. This recording should be readily available for downloading because of its musical content and musicianship.
Brahms probably remains my favorite composer in a lifetime of music appreciation but his characterization of England as "Das Land ohne Musik" ("country without music") was manifestly uninformed and unfair and is turned on its head when you know Parry's "Songs of Farewell" and Stanford's "Three Motets.""