Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
This is a thoughtfully compiled and thought provoking collection of 17 songs to inspire reflection and contemplation of the Cross. The earliest words are from the “Lamentations Of Jeremiah”, set to music by Sir Edward Bairstow (1874 – 1946) and “Haec Dies” (Psalm 118) by William Byrd (1543 – 1623). The most modern music is by John Scott (born in 1956) with a setting of words from the Book of Common Prayer entitled “Easter Anthems”. As well as some other worthies of the British choral tradition, including Purcell, Handel and Walton, there are representatives from other nations, including Pablo Casals, John IV, King of Portugal, and Francis Poulenc. The singing, directed by Neil Taylor, is excellent and the organist, Peter Heginbotham, shows admirable restraint. But, for this listener, the finale of “Ye Choirs Of New Jerusalem” (words by St Fulbert of Chartres – died 1028; and music by Richard Shephard – born in 1949) stands out, especially with the rousing trumpet playing from Brian Winter.
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