A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 10/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"HANDEL, BOYCE AND EVEN BLOW CAN PUT ON QUITE A DANDY SHOW, BUT TO THIS DISC I MUST SAY 'NO'.
The selections on this disc consisting of four notable pieces by Handel, Blow and Boyce were written for St. Pauls' between 1697 and 1755. Although the day-to-day choral services at St. Paul's were accompanied just by the organ, as it is today, for special state occasions an orchestra was present to accompany at least one of the anthems, and the 'Te Deum' and ''Jubilate', This type of anthem is referred to as a 'symphony anthem'.
The 'Utrecht Te Deum' and the 'Jubilate' was a turning point in Handel's career because it was the first piece of major religious music that he wrote using the English language.
I purchased this recording based on the line-up of soloists, most of whom are quite accomplished singers in their own right; singers such as Alastair Cook,Robin Blaze,Ashley Stafford, Mark Le Brocq, but it truly is a poorly done album; not necessarily because of the soloists, but there are so many musical flaws: poor choral singing; sometimes dlstorted because of over-singing, very poor diction and balance between the voices. The pitch is not all that great, either. And it's frustrating, because the musical selections have so much potential. Anyway, there are much better renditions of these compositions. Look for them."