Leos Janacek, Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford - The Lord's Prayer

Thursday 8th January 2004
Leos Janacek, Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford - The Lord's Prayer
Leos Janacek, Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford - The Lord's Prayer

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Griffin GCCD 4042

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

My home village was the seat of the Czech Government in exile during World War II but this does not qualify me to comment on the words in this collection. Translations are supplied but whether the choir or tenor soloist, Andrew Carwood, do them full justice is beyond my competence. However they sound pretty good to me and of course Jan├ícek’s setting of the Mass based on the Ordinary of Liszt’s Mass For Organ is in Latin. In point of fact, to criticise anything from this wonderful collection is to quibble as everything is of the highest quality. My particular favourite is a “Chorale Fantasie” organ solo played by Clive Driskell-Smith which seems a surprising thing to say when most of the pieces are vocal. Let it be said that the choral singing, directed by Stephen Darlington, is superb but the organ playing is even better. The title track is a setting of the Lord's Prayer in Czech that runs for over 16 minutes and is in effect a miniature cantata but the most moving piece is an “Elegie” on the death of the composer's daughter, Olga.

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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