Vasari Singers, Jeremy Backhouse - Great British Anthems

Published Wednesday 16th March 2011
Vasari Singers, Jeremy Backhouse - Great British Anthems
 Vasari Singers, Jeremy Backhouse - Great British Anthems

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Naxos Choral Music 8572504

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

The Vasari Singers, under Music Director Jeremy Backhouse, are not strangers to the CR website and neither are most of the composers represented on this disc. In fact a quick search reveals that only E W Naylor (1867-1934) has yet to make an appearance. Of the seven anthems his "Vox Dicentis: Clama" from 1911 that uses verses from Chapter 40 of Isaiah is musically the least memorable although that is perhaps unfair as this piece is also the least well known to this reviewer and, let it be said, it is not bad - just not of the first rank. But then very few anthems can stand the comparison with examples such as Stanford's "Magnificat For Double Choir In B Flat" or Walton's staggeringly complex "The Twelve" so the fact that Mr Backhouse thinks that Naylor is worthy of inclusion suggests that I should not dismiss him too quickly. Also included are Parry's "Blest Pair Of Sirens", Stainer's "I Saw The Lord", Holst's "Nunc Dimitis", and Finzi's lovely "Lo, The Full Final Sacrifice". I expect that many if not all of these are familiar to you. If not, then this is an excellent introduction, being well sung throughout with good organ accompaniment from Jeremy Filsell. For those who already have some or even all of these pieces in their collection, these new recordings and still worth hearing and at the Naxos budget price this is an excellent addition.

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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