The Boy Choristers and Lay Clerks of Southwark Cathedral Choir - A Year At Southwark

Published Wednesday 1st February 2012
The Boy Choristers and Lay Clerks of Southwark Cathedral Choir - A Year At Southwark
The Boy Choristers and Lay Clerks of Southwark Cathedral Choir - A Year At Southwark

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Regent REGCD376

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

St Saviour's Church in Southwark has a long history but it was only in 1905 that the diocese was formed and the church became a cathedral. However the choir was already well established, initially of boys and men but since 2000 with girls too. This recording is men and boys only and follows the pattern of the earlier releases in this interesting series: travelling through the liturgical year charting the major festivals with compositions either connected in some way with the choir or a popular part of its repertoire. As expected, we open at Advent. Two pieces have been selected: "Alleluia" by Thomas Weelkes (?1576-1623) and "All Wisdom Cometh From The Lord" by Philip Moore (born 1943). The contrast between ancient and modern is nice but the choir do not seem quite warmed up. It is not until we get to Passiontide that this reviewer was won over. John Stainer's "God So Loved The World" is a personal favourite and this version is more than acceptable. For Maundy Thursday we have Ralph Vaughan Williams' familiar "Come Taste And See" but for Good Friday we have "Crucifixus A 8" by Antonio Lotti (c 1667-1740) which is worth the price of admission on its own and is followed by "A New Song" by James Macmillan (born 1959) that is just as good. Other highlights are "For Lo, I Raise Up" by C V Stanford (for Trinity Sunday) and "War In Heaven" by Neil Cox (born 1955) for St Michael's Day. When the choir is on song this is an excellent album but there are some points where it is not quite convincing. However the interesting selection of material, the excellent organ playing from Stephen Disley, and the generally good singing make this an easy recommendation for those who like choral music.

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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