Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
The subtitle says 'The Music Of Mark Gotham' and that, dear reader, is what we get: an interesting selection of compositions from across the genres of what is broadly defined as 'classical'. Some is instrumental, some choral and we get a mixture of sacred and secular so there should be something for everyone although whether there is enough of what you fancy in your area of interest is, of course, another matter. I tend to home in on sacred choral music and while there is enough here to whet my appetite there is not enough to make me comfortable in recommending it. Does the world really need new settings of "In The Bleak Midwinter" or "Drop, Drop Slow Tears" (of which we get two)? They are well sung and worth a listen but - and you knew the "but" was on its way - they are not going to replace the more popular arrangements that already exist in any choir's repertoire. The concluding "community opera" "The Pied Piper Of Hamelin" is great fun and I could imagine using this in school one day. On it Selwyn College Choir are joined by Ely Cathedral Girls' Choir, brilliantly characterful as the rats, baritone Jonathan Midgley as the Mayor, and distinguished actor and Selwyn alumnus, Tom Hollander, as the narrator. It is not sacred, indeed it is downright sinister, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The instrumental selections include organ solos by John Bachelor and Shanna Hart and a piano solo, "Tessellations" played by Christina McMaster that I will return to with pleasure. Sarah MacDonald and the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge never let us down and on this disc they once again excel. This reviewer would certainly want to hear a full collection of Mark Gotham's choral music once it is compiled but I am less sure that I would want to hear much more of his instrumental work.
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