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William Turner: Sacred Choral Music / Geoffrey Webber


Release Date: 12/18/2007 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34028   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  William Turner
Performer:  Peter SeymourPaul ThompsonWilliam PurefoyDaniel Jordan,   ... 
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque SoloistsGonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A near-faultless disc of some fine, unjustly neglected music

William Turner’s music – and indeed his very name – is so little known that its restoration in this admirable disc is all the more welcome. And a restoration is most apposite because Turner’s childhood encompassed both the Republic and the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. Pelham Humfrey and John Blow were near contemporaries and fellow members of the Westminster Abbey Club Anthem, whilst Purcell was his junior by some years. At sixteen he was Master of the Choristers at Lincoln but in 1672 he returned to London to serve in the Chapel Royal and later Westminster Abbey. Thus his career witnessed the rebirth of English church music and he lived long enough to
Read more see Handel’s establishment as the premier composer in London – Turner in fact died the year before Messiah was premiered.

Turner’s effacement from the Blow-Humphrey axis is certainly unjust if this disc is representative, and there’s no reason to think it isn’t. Harmonically and textually his accomplishments are clear and one wonders whether the reasons for his neglect are more biographical than musical. The 1696 Te Deum has an extensive role for countertenor; the writing is fluent and fluid and the word setting is intelligent and sensitively varied, spiced all the while with sufficient harmonic twists to keep predictability flouted. The trumpet is used sparingly – but to optimum advantage, a telling example of his practical assurance.

Lord, thou hast been my refuge is beautifully crafted and full of refined sensitivity and in the case of The Queen shall rejoice we have a rare example of a full anthem, affirmatory and even bordering on the jaunty in places. Certainly by the time of some of these later settings Purcell’s influence seems strong though I wouldn’t necessarily call it pervasive in any way. Turner’s strong individualism is still apparent, not least in the concise and beautifully laid out My soul truly waiteth, one of the most lovely things here. The 1696 Jubilate Deo has claims to be the most explicitly Purcellian of the compositions but one should remember that Purcell’s Jubilate Deo was commissioned 1694, Blow’s in 1695 and Turner’s the following year. He still held eminence and in some ways is paying homage to the recently deceased Purcell.

The disc’s attraction is enhanced by the first class performance of the soloists, well known in the field, and the choir. The Yorkshire Baroque Soloists are equally eminent and Geoffrey Webber proves to have a very winning way with these forces. Add a splendid recording as well and you have a near-faultless disc of some fine, unjustly neglected music.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
My soul truly waiteth by William Turner
Performer:  Peter Seymour (Director)
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque Soloists,  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
2.
O Lord God of hosts by William Turner
Performer:  Peter Seymour (Director)
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque Soloists,  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: c1673; England 
3.
The Lord is righteous by William Turner
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque Soloists,  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: c1700; England 
4.
Morning Service by William Turner
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque Soloists,  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1696; England 
5.
Lord, thou hast been our refuge by William Turner
Performer:  Paul Thompson (Tenor), Peter Seymour (Director), William Purefoy (Countentener),
Daniel Jordan (Bass)
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque Soloists,  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: c1668; England 
6.
The queen shall rejoice by William Turner
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque Soloists,  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1702; England 
7.
Te Deum by William Turner
Performer:  William Towers (Countertenor), Julia Doyle (Soprano), William Purefoy (Countertenor),
Paul Thompson (Tenor), Daniel Jordan (Bass)
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Yorkshire Baroque Soloists,  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1696 

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