Search - Orlando Gibbons, Philip Ledger, Cambridge Choir of King's College :: Tudor Church Music

Tudor Church Music
Orlando Gibbons, Philip Ledger, Cambridge Choir of King's College
Tudor Church Music
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 01/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

Orlando Gibbons began his association with Kings College,Cambridge, as a chorister under the direction of his eldest brother from 1596 to 1598. His talent was such that by the age of 21 he was sharing the duties as an organist. In 1623 he accepted the additional appointment as organist at Westminster Abbey; but he died suddenly just 2 years later. He was not a prolific composer, but his works include many masterpieces some of which are on this disc.

One of his most outstanding verse anthems is :"This is the record of John". It is recorded on this disc by the Kings College Choir featuring Michael Chance as the countertenor soloist; and I tell you that no one has ever performed this as well as Chance. His tone quality, his diction, his emotional investment in the music goes way beyond other renditions, at least that I have heard.

Another bright spot in this group of pieces is the verse anthem:"See,see,the word is incarnate" featuring the choir with a group of outstanding solists: Paul Smy (boy soprano);Chance,Jones (altos); Daniels,Rivers (tenors);Finley (bass). Some of the other selections are: anthems:"A Mighty and Everlasting God"; "Lift up your heads". There are also several organ selections played with great expertise by John Butt.

Throughout this recording the duo team of Chance (male alto) and Smy (boy soprano) is featured and what a joy to hear!. It always amazes me that the alto who is a man, and the soprano who is a boy make such a perfectly balanced blend; I am certain that Chance has to work hard to not overpower Smy, who is giving it his 'all'.

The London Early Music group does much of the accompanying. The Choir with its boy sopranos and male altos are dictionally perfect and so enjoyable to hear. Combine all of this with the melodious music of Gibbons and you have a winner!"
Absolute Topping Fellows!
Joseph P. Brennan | Fort Wayne, IN, United States | 12/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you like this sort of thing (and I do), then it's best to have the most authentic performers do the singing. As noted in the earlier review, Gibbons sang in the very choir which performs on this CD. (Yes, the faces change, but the "song remains the same.")

And what can we expect from that choir? As the previous reviewer mentioned, everyone's "dic-si-on" is perfect, and the countertenor in "This is the Record of John" sings sublimely. I can't stop listening to the "Nunc Dimittis for the Second Service" either ? the boy who begins it is, in my view, every bit as good as Mr. Chance. Another favorite is "O Thou, the Central Orb," but really, the whole album is not-to-be missed. The organist does an excellent job too, and his solos provide nice interludes between vocal pieces.

Of course I listen to modern music, but if I had to throw away all but a handful of CD's, this is one of the few I would absolutely have to keep. It is a blessed isle of great high art in modernity's stormy sea of philistinism."