Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
Acknowledged as one of the leading choirs in the country, Winchester Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Andrew Lumsden, here offer us a selection of music for Remembrance and to commemorate the start of the First World War in 1914. From our perspective a century after the event we cannot remember the outbreak of this war without anticipating the horror that was to follow in the trenches but in the Autumn of 1914 the Tommys answered Lord Kitchener's call, packed up their troubles in the old kit bag and marched off to war expecting to be home by Christmas. How wrong they were but while we, with our 20-20 hindsight, know that "the war to end all wars" only paved the way for the cataclysm of 1939, we can still honour the sacrificial bravery of those caught up in the Great War and indeed any war. In addition to works regularly associated with Remembrance Sunday such as Douglas Guest's "For The Fallen" this recording also includes both of William Harris' great eight-part anthems, "Faire Is The Heaven" and "Bring Us, O Lord", Herbert Howells' magnificent motet on the death of President Kennedy, "Take Him, Earth For Cherishing", Paweł Łukaszewski's exquisite "Nunc Dimittis" and the first recording of Philip Moore's major concert work, "At The Round Earth's Imagined Corners", with nine-part brass and percussion, courtesy of Fine Arts Brass. This is an appropriately sober and sombre collection, deeply moving at times, and sung very well indeed.
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