The Arcadian Singers of Oxford University - Salvator Mundi

Saturday 1st November 2003
The Arcadian Singers of Oxford University - Salvator Mundi
The Arcadian Singers of Oxford University - Salvator Mundi

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Lammas LAMM152D

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

In just over one hour we get a variety of different responses to – and meditations on – the Passion of Jesus. We start in the Renaissance with three pieces by Thomas Tallis (1505 – 1585) and Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611) gives us his “Agnus Dei”. We enjoy two contributions from Henry Purcell (1659 – 95) and John Blow (1648/9 – 1708) gives us his version of “Salvator Mundi”. We end up in the 20th century with two songs by Herbert Howells (1892 - 1983) and one from Francis Poulenc (1899 – 1963). Living composers are featured, with a setting of verses from Jeremiah by Richard Pantcheff (b 1959) being commissioned by the Arcadian Singers for this collection, as was James Davy’s setting of Phineas Fletcher's poem “Drop, Drop, Slow Tears”. The content is thought provoking. What of the performance? The Choir was founded in 1976 to specialise in unaccompanied works. It comprises around two dozen singers from throughout the University of Oxford. The conductor is Matthew O’Donovan and organist is James Davy. All can be proud of an excellent performance. This reviewer looks forward to hearing more.

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