(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you haven't discovered yet how beautiful English choral music is, buy this disc right away. This recording is a collection of some of the most famous compositions by several composers (including folklore arrangements), so this is a perfect initiation for someone new to the genre. The melodies are ethereally beautiful, and the elegant singing by the Cambridge Singers does not dissapoint. The only missed opportunity is Phillip Sheffield instead of Mark Padmore in Brigg Fair. If you want to hear that song the way it REALLY should sound, get Grainger Edition Volume 3 where Padmore sings it."
The Inimitable British Choral Music
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is such pleasure to see this re-release of 1986 recording by John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers from the Great Hall of University College School, London. The original recording has long been a favorite of legions of devotees of the British Choral tradition and this collection remains one of the finest samplings of significant a capella songs available.
Opening with the hauntingly simple and beautiful 'The blue bird' by CV Stanford (to whom this album was dedicated), the tone of the CD is set as a stroll through the mists and bogs of the English countryside. Songs by Frederick Delius (one featuring the then unappreciated tenor soloist Mark Padmore!), Edward Elgar, various folk songs beautifully arranged for four-part chorus, the 'Five Flower Songs' by Benjamin Britten, and finally the extraordinary 'Three Shakespeare Songs' set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams are all included in this generous recital.
Vaughan Williams songs are brief but immaculately written choral works. 'Full fathom five' and 'The cloud-capped towers' find all the mystery in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' while 'Over hill, over dale' is the quintessential musical rendering of the fairies frolics from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Rutter and the Cambridge Singers are splendid and the acoustic of the recording hall adds just the right amount of resonance to complete the magic of these songs. Highly recommended! Grady Harp, January 07"