Choir of Bristol Cathedral, Mark Lee - A Year At Bristol

Published Monday 5th February 2018
Choir of Bristol Cathedral, Mark Lee - A Year At Bristol
Choir of Bristol Cathedral, Mark Lee - A Year At Bristol

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168615-26573
LABEL: Regent REGCD514

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

The 10th release in the Regent 'A Year At . . .' series brings us to Bristol Cathedral where the choir, under their Director of Music, Mark Lee, takes us through a selection of choral works marking the main seasons of the Christian year. This allows us to hear the choir tackle a variety of choral works from the 17th century to the present day on a tour from Tudor England, via Austria, Spain and France and ending in Bristol itself with the first recording of David Bednall's anthem "O Clap Your Hands" written shortly before the recording sessions as a surprise 40th birthday present for the Senior Lay Clerk, Andy Marshall, and to mark his long service to music in Bristol and here included at the Feast of Christ the King. Other contemporary composers are also featured, with works by Sally Beamish with a Christmas song "In The Stillness", James Whitbourn's "Hodie", also for Christmas, and James MacMillan's "O Radiant Dawn" for Advent. For Easter Sunday there is Charles Marie Widor's magnificent "Surrexit A Mortuis" which demonstrates the full range of the Bristol Cathedral organ here played by Paul Walton. A choir has been singing on the site of the Cathedral since the Augustinian monastery was founded in 1140.When the church formally became Bristol Cathedral in 1542 its statutes required that provision be made for the development and maintenance of the choir, whose role was to sing the praises of God. The passing of the centuries has modified but not destroyed the pattern. The choir consists of six Lay Clerks, four Choral Scholars and 24 choristers (12 boys, 12 girls), who are educated at Bristol Cathedral Choir School, the first government-funded Choir Academy in the country. On this recording the singing is uniformly excellent, whether with or without the accompanying organ. The best known pieces are Anton Bruckner's "Ave Marie" and Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Valiant-For-Truth" and there is nothing here that is not worth hearing. Those who enjoy choral music will get much from this and choir leaders may hear some material that would merit further investigation.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Vigilate [Listen]
2. O Radiant Dawn [Listen]
3. In The Stillness [Listen]
4. Hodie [Listen]
5. Videte Miraculum [Listen]
6. In Exile [Listen]
7. Drop, Drop Slow Tears [Listen]
8. Christus Factus Est [Listen]
9. O Vos Omnes [Listen]
10. The Reproaches [Listen]
11. Surrexit A Mortuis [Listen]
12. Ave Maria [Listen]
13. Valiant-For-Truth [Listen]
14. O Clap Your Hands [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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