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A glorious collection of English choral music.
Composer: Parry, Tavener, Sullivan, Holst, RR Bennett, Howells, Elgar and Vaughan Williams.
Repertoire: The Turtle Dove, The Long Day Closes, A Good-Night, Songs of Farewell : Never Weather-Beaten Sail / There is an Old Belief / At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners / My Soul There is a
Country / I Know My Soul Hath Power to Know All Things / Lord Let Me Know Mine End, Take Him Earth for Cherishing, Funeral Ikos, The Evening-Watch op.43 No.1, Bring Us O Lord God, They are at Rest, Rest.
Artist: Tenebrae/Nigel Short
Label: Signum Classic SIGCD267
The Music: Nigel Short’s vocal ensemble Tenebrae continues its candlelit journey, after discs of Victoria’s Requiem and Allegri’s Miserere, with a programme of 15 brief English choral works. The disc’s theme is death but is far from depressing (the disc, I mean, not death).
The Performance: Tenebrae’s intense, closely-mic’d sound is superbly balanced and textured; a soothing, uplifting antidote to our hectic lives. Among the highlights are Richard Rodney Bennett’s A Good-Night (written in memory of Linda McCartney), Herbert Howells’s Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing (a tribute to the assassinated President John F Kennedy) and the ever-touching My Soul, There is a Country, the first of the six noble motets by Parry that give the album its title.
The Verdict: Precision, spot-on intonation and sensitive phrasing inform Tenebrae’s affectionate performances of these settings of great English poets, the texts of which are provided in the classily produced booklet.