The Vicars Choral Of Wells Cathedral - The Vicars Choral Of Wells Cathedral

Saturday 1st February 1992
The Vicars Choral Of Wells Cathedral - The Vicars Choral Of Wells Cathedral

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Alpha 924

Reviewed by Dave Massey

Looking at the contents of this album, it certainly looks like a strange collection of material, ranging from the English composers Tallis (1505-1585) and Byrd (1543-1623) to the French composer Poulenc (1899-1963) with a couple of negro spirituals chucked in at the end. The idea being to show the incredible range of church music over this period and somehow to institutionalise the negro spiritual. "Steal Away To Jesus" is incredibly haunting and although it's lifted from the degradation and inhumanity of the environment in which it was written and placed firmly in a middle class white environment, it loses none of its painful impact. The choir is immaculate in its phrasing and dynamics and it is to their credit that the two spirituals slot so neatly into a varied programme like this. If you are after a good cross section of 'church music', get this disc - it's got everything from the famous "Lamentation Of Jeremiah" to the Byrd "Mass For Three Voices" to "Every Time I Feel The Spirit" and you won't hear them sung better.

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