The Choristers of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin - In Dublin's Fair City

Published Tuesday 26th February 2013
The Choristers of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin - In Dublin's Fair City
The Choristers of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin - In Dublin's Fair City

STYLE: Choral
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Regent REGCD396

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Although there has been a choir school associated with St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin for more than 500 years there have not been many recent releases from there so this one is most welcome, particularly as it gives us more than 70 minutes of music at mid-price. The singers are the 14 boy trebles supplemented by three altos so we stay in the top range throughout and this, to me, is a weakness. The singers sing well, have no doubts about that, but after the first few songs we start to miss the depth that comes from the tenors and basses. The repertoire is wide ranging and allows the singers to show their paces but perhaps a clearer theme would have helped. Thus we get carols such as Peter Warlock's "Bethlehem Down" and Benjamin Britten's "Corpus Christi Carol" followed by an extract from Handel's 'Messiah' in "How Beautiful Are The Feet" and conclude with Britten's setting of Yeats' poem "The Salley Garden" and the traditional "Cockles And Mussels" from which the title of this album has been taken ("In Dublin's Fair City" sometimes known as "Molly Malone"). In addition to applauding the singing we should make mention of the varied accompaniment featuring organ, harp and guitar and the production by Gary Cole is crystal clear throughout. Clearly as an Anglican cathedral in a Catholic city we should not be surprised that much of the repertoire is from the mainland. John Rutter's "A Gaelic Blessing" at least nods its head towards the Celtic tradition but although John Ireland has the right name for the disc we do not think his "Ex ore innocentium" quite counts. But these are minor quibbles on what is a pleasant release that we can happily recommend to all who enjoy traditional Anglican music well sung by a talented group of young men.

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