Jesus College Choir - I Saw The Lord

Published Friday 10th June 2011
Jesus College Choir - I Saw The Lord
Jesus College Choir - I Saw The Lord

STYLE: Choral
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 95318-17748
LABEL: Griffin GCCD4069
RELEASE DATE: 2010-08-16
RRP: £12.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Before we give a detailed review of this pleasant release of choral favourites we need to offer several caveats. This CD is actually a compilation from three older cassettes from the Abbey label. There are probably not too many reading this review who have any of these old tapes and the chances of them actually working are now remote but we would not want anyone to buy this CD thinking that they are hearing something new. The fact that three directors are listed (Geraint Bowen, Andrew King, and Christopher Argent) is a clue and the CD sleeve credits Paul Arden-Taylor with the re-mastering. He has done a fine job but, to my ears, we do not need the Stereo ADD to flag up the fact that this started as an analogue recording. It is not necessarily worse than a digital recording but it is different. Our next caveat follows from the first: these recordings were made between 1985 and 1987 so we are not hearing the Jesus College Choir of today. No doubt the choir has its own distinctive voice and the different directors bring different interpretations, but if you want an audio record of Jesus College Choir in the 21st century this is not it. And, frankly, although we get some fine singing on this CD I cannot in all honesty place Jesus College Choir in the first rank. So, what do we get in the 72 minutes? Other than a "Magnificat" by William Matthias (1934-2002) most of the music is of historical interest, going back as far as Robert Fairfax (1464-1521) who gives us "Aeternae Laudis Lilium". William Byrd (1543-1623) gives us four pieces, including a Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis and we also have contributions from John Sheppard, Thomas Morley, Orlando Gibbons, and Thomas Tomkins. Chances are that if you have an interest in Renaissance polyphony you will have other recordings covering the same ground. Likewise, as we move forward in time we get Durufle's "Tota Pulchra es, Maria", S S Wesley's "Wash Me Thoroughly", and William Monk's hymn "Abide With Me". All are sung well but none stand out sufficiently to make them a first choice recommendation. So, in all, a pleasant release of some old favourites.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Sing Joyfully [Listen]
2. Ave Verum Corpus [Listen]
3. Tota Pulchra Es, Maria [Listen]
4. Nolo Mortem Peccatoris [Listen]
5. O Clap Your Hands Togeather [Listen]
6. Libera Nos [Listen]
7. Aeternae Laudis Lilium [Listen]
8. Magnificat [Listen]
9. Wash Me Throughly [Listen]
10. Magnificat (Great Service) [Listen]
11. Nunc Dimittis (Great Service) [Listen]
12. Almighty God, The Fountain Of All Wisdom [Listen]
13. Though I Speak With The Tongues Of Men [Listen]
14. Seek Ye The Lord [Listen]
15. Hymn- Abide With Me [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.

Product Description

These lovely musical performances, chosen from 3 recordings at Jesus College, demonstrate the first class quality this choral centre has always maintained.

Featured, in perfect harmonies, is a wide variety, from Renaissance polyphony to Modern pieces.

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