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Christ The Fair Glory / Hancock, St Thomas Choir


Release Date: 04/24/2001 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7441   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsGeorge CooperWillcocks, David, SirWilliam Henry Monk,   ... 
Performer:  Gerre Hancock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This generously filled, imaginatively programmed two-disc set of hymns, Anglican psalm chants, and solo organ pieces should find a welcome slot on the shelves of all lovers of English congregational and service music. But organ specialists shouldn’t pass on this one either, for Judith Hancock’s literally earth-shaking renderings of Duruflé’s magical, mischievous improvisations on “Victimae Paschali” and of Peter Planyavsky’s delightfully demented, scurrying Toccata-Rumba are more than worth a few visits. You can’t help but be impressed with the virtuoso playing as well as with this magnificent Aeolian-Skinner organ’s breadth and power and extraordinary array of colors.


Oh, yes--you’ll get plenty of singing, too,
Read more but to its credit the program isn’t yet another “greatest hymns of all time” collection. Although we do get a few favorites--O come, O come, Emmanuel; In the bleak mid-winter; Holy, holy, holy!--even in these instances something new is offered, whether a fresh harmonization or just a stunning descant or improvisatory organ introduction. Even Vaughan Williams’ much-revered Come down, O Love divine (Down Ampney) is presented in a context that gives varied treatment to each verse while preserving the melody and familiar harmony. Other notable selections include Now, My tongue, the mystery telling, beautifully harmonized and set to the tune of Grafton, highlighted by a soaring descant by Alan Wicks; Holy, holy, holy!, with its stirring organ introduction; Bruce Neswick’s starkly effective setting of Of the Father’s love begotten; and many lovely chants, particularly those by David Willcocks (Psalm 148) and D. Walsh (Psalm 127).


The program follows a sequence based on the primary seasons of the church year, including Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Eastertide, a format that provides both a built-in variety and logical order to what otherwise could be a rather unwieldy musical hodge-podge. There’s a decidedly British accent in the singing, from pronunciation of words to particularities of phrasing--a curious and really unnecessary affectation for an American choir; but unless you’re really fussy about absolute ensemble exactness at all times in the psalms, or unless you prefer a mixed choir sound, you’ll find little to criticize in these near-exemplary performances. The engineering does not give a consistent choral balance, sometimes favoring the trebles, at others giving too much attention to individual voices--almost as if you suddenly changed seats. This is neither serious nor frequent but offers evidence of how tricky it can be to record in huge, cathedral-size spaces such as New York’s Saint Thomas Church. The liner notes include full texts and authorship information for the hymns and chants but provide far more detail about the church, the rector, the choir, and the organ than about the origins and importance of the music.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Christ the fair glory by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
2.
Psalm 99 "Dominus regnavit" by George Cooper
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
3.
Psalm 148 by Willcocks, David, Sir
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
4.
Who are these, like stars appearing? by William Henry Monk
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
5.
Work(s) by Martin Luther
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
6.
O come, O come Emmanuel by Traditional
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; France 
7.
Psalm 84 "Quam dilecta" by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
8.
In the bleak mid-winter by Gustav Holst
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1906; England 
9.
Of the Father's love begotten by Bruce Neswick
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
10.
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BuxWV 223 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
11.
Psalm 115 "Non nobis, Domine" by David James Lumsden
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
12.
Brightest and Best by Traditional
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
13.
Glory, love and praise and honour "Benifold" by Francis Westbrook
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1969 
14.
Work(s) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: Baroque 
15.
Psalm-Preludes (3) for Organ, Set 1, Op. 32 by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1916; England 
16.
Psalm 126 "In convertendo" by George Mursell Garrett
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
17.
Psalm 127 "Nisi Dominus" by D. Walsh
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
18.
No, my tongue, the mystery telling by Anonymous
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
19.
Psalm 143 "Hear my prayer, o Lord" by Matthew Camidge
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: Romantic 
20.
Psalm 130 "De profondis" by Matthew Camidge
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
21.
Dilexisti quoniam by Anonymous
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
22.
Improvisations (5) for Organ: no 5, Choral-Improvisation sur le "Victimae paschali" by Charles Tournemire
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1930; France 
23.
He is risen by Joachim Neander
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
24.
Through the Red Sea brought at last by Alastair Cassels-Brown
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
25.
Joyful Eastertide by Charles Wood
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
26.
Psalm 48 "Magnus Dominus" by James Turle
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
27.
Llanfair "Welsh Hymn Melody" by Robert Williams
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1817; Wales, UK 
28.
Psalm 122 "Laetatus sum" by Ivor Atkins
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
29.
English Hymnal: no 1, Come down, O Love divine by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1906; England 
30.
Holy, holy, holy "NIcaea" by John Bacchus Dykes
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1861; England 
31.
Psalm 32 "Beati quorum" by Sir George Thalben-Ball
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
32.
Toccata alla Rumba by Peter Planyavsky
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Austria 
33.
Lucerna Laudoniae "Lantern of the Lothians" by David Evans
Performer:  Gerre Hancock (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Scotland 

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