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Bairstow: Choral Music / Hill, Williams, Provost, Et Al


Release Date: 08/14/2007 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67497   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Paul ProvostRoderick Williams
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College ChoirBritten Sinfonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A Bairstow find elevates an already superb selection into the top rank

An excellent disc in regard both to the standard of performance and to the selection of Bairstow’s music. And to that should be added straight away the quality of recorded sound, for in choral music of this type it is particularly important to allow for enough reverberance and sense of space without loss of clarity; also to balance choir and organ so as to keep a focus upon the singers and their words while enabling the organist to exploit the full range of the instrument in tone and volume. The comparable recital disc from York Minster (where Bairstow was Master of the Music from 1913 to his death in 1946) is also a very fine one and has the
Read more additional appeal of its special association; but whatever St John’s loses in comparative grandeur in a few expansive points of climax, it gains more in a sense of immediacy and personal contact during the many passages of quiet reflection. But the recommendation for this new issue in preference is confirmed most decisively by the inclusion of the Five Poems of the Spirit. This seems not to be claimed as a first recording but I know of no other, nor can I remember hearing the work before. Completed in 1944, it remained unpublished till after Bairstow’s death. The orchestration was provided by Sir Ernest Bullock, and with its baritone solos and (largely) early-17th-century texts it stands, not unworthily, alongside Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs. Particularly memorable is the fourth, Raleigh’s “Give me my scallop-shell of quiet”, but all are attractive. Roderick Williams is the ideally suited soloist and the Britten Sinfonia do justice to a delightful score. In the accompanied anthems and services the organ parts are played with skilful registration by Paul Provost, and the choir sing throughout with their customary expressiveness and variety of colour: exquisitely (for instance) in the unaccompanied Jesu, the very thought of Thee.

-- John Steane, Gramophone [9/2007]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Jesu, the very thought of Thee by Edward Bairstow
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
2.
Blessed city, heavenly Salem by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Paul Provost (Organ)
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; England 
3.
Evening Service in D by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Paul Provost (Organ)
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
4.
Lord, Thou hast been our refuge by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Paul Provost (Organ)
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1917; England 
5.
If the Lord had not helped me by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Paul Provost (Organ)
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; England 
6.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence by Edward Bairstow
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; England 
7.
Evening Service in G by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Paul Provost (Organ)
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
8.
Poems (5) of the Spirit by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone)
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Britten Sinfonia Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
9.
Save us, O Lord by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Paul Provost (Organ)
Conductor:  David Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; England 

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