Ely Cathedral Choir - Cathedral Music By John Amner

Sunday 1st October 1995
Ely Cathedral Choir - Cathedral Music By John Amner

STYLE: Choral
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
LABEL: Hyperion 66768

Reviewed by John Irvine

John Amner (1579-1641) is a bit of an oddity as far as these pages go for reviews of sacred music by the great classical composers: he spent all of his working life in the service of Ely Cathedral, writing music solely for use in the services there. It was unheard of for a composer of Amner's time to so earnestly devote himself to sacred music, with not a single madrigal or instrumental piece being written by him. His sole aim, his consuming passion, was to provide music for the glory of God. We can imagine him, perhaps, as a second rate composer never destined for the big time, but content to use the gifts he had to the best of his ability: his utmost for His Highness? A second rate composer maybe; but perhaps also a first rate servant of God and his Church. The Choir of Ely Cathedral invest this recording with a heartfelt warmth and generosity of spirit as befits a performance of works by a 'local hero'; an interesting and engaging performance is the result. However, when all is said and done, Amner's music, while pleasant enough, is probably of long term interest only to music historians or to the choristers themselves.

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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