Cambridge Choir Of Christ's College, David Rowland - Even Such Is Time

Published Monday 9th July 2018
Cambridge Choir Of Christ's College, David Rowland - Even Such Is Time
Cambridge Choir Of Christ's College, David Rowland - Even Such Is Time

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 171540-27273
LABEL: Regent

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Before I praise this collection - and there is much that is good about it - a word to the wise. "Even such is time' is the opening line of a poem written by Sir Walter Raleigh and set to music by, among others, Bob Chilcott but if you look for it on this disc it is not there. The song is easy enough to locate, hence this warning: if you search for 'Even Such Is Time' you will certainly find it - probably as performed by Sacrae Voces - but you will not have found the disc I am reviewing here. So now you know. This recording brings together virtuoso choral works by four of Britain's most influential mid 20th-century composers: Kenneth Leighton (1929-88); William Walton (1902-83); Herbert Howells (1892-1983); and Gerald Finzi (1901-56). Centrepiece of the programme is Leighton's extended cycle for Lent and Holy Week "Crucifixus Pro Nobis", together with Finzi's large-scale anthem "Lo, The Full, Final Sacrifice" and Howells's poignant motet on the death of President Kennedy "Take Him, Earth, For Cherishing". There are also rare recordings of shorter works by these three composers together with three of Walton's most popular a cappella choral works. And here's the rub: if you have any interest in mid 20th-century British choral music you will almost certainly have some of these pieces in your collection and if you are not particularly interested then I doubt if this collection will change your mind. The music is of its time and place and if you read David Rowland's helpful notes in the CD booklet you will gain a clearer understanding of their context. The singing is excellent throughout and the acoustic of the Chapel of Queen's College, Cambridge suits the tone. Where required Sidharth Prabu-Naik and Gabriel Hartley provide the organ accompaniment but it is the singing that captures our attention. It is sad but true that of the four great composers on this disc only William Walton is close to being remembered beyond specialist circles. All still have something to say and all are worth hearing although, as I said earlier, you may wish to check your collection before buying to avoid duplication.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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