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My Spirit Sang All Day

Finzi / Graduate Choir New Zealand / Maskell
Release Date: 11/12/2013 
Label:  Atoll Records (New Zealand)   Catalog #: 105   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gerald FinziJames ErbJohn RutterClaude Debussy,   ... 
Performer:  Claire CaldwellJohn WellsMaugapaia Ropeti-LupeliPatrick Tanielu
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MY SPIRIT SANG ALL DAY Terence Maskill, cond; Claire Caldwell (pn); the graduate choir nz ATOLL 105 (52:38)


Music by FINZI, ERB, RUTTER, DEBUSSY, PEARSALL, BRAHMS, MENDELSSOHN, BRUCKNER, STANFORD, MADDEN, DIENES, POELINITZ, DAWSON, McHUGH/FIELDS, MARSHALL, MASKELL


A SOUND CAME FROM HEAVEN Terence Maskill, cond; Elizabeth Salmon (org); Christina Bevan (pn); the graduate choir Read more nz ATOLL 407 (65:40 Text and Translation)


Music by MEWS, STANFORD, MENDELSSOHN, SCHUMANN, PEARSALL, BRAHMS, RITCHIE, HAMILTON, MARSHALL, THOMAS


The lower-cased graduate choir, nz, is, as one might expect from the name, from New Zealand; it is about a dozen years old and has about 35 singers (at least on the second disc). It must be said at the outset, however, that, whatever its age and size, this is a very good ensemble, indeed. It is evenly balanced, it sings in tune, and, wonderfully, its words are clear. Though these sound like requisites for all choirs, they are usually more perceived by their absence than not.


A look at the composers represented will show that these two discs are similar in their organization. Both begin with the standard repertory of most choirs, with a preference for music from the 19th century, and both end with recent music from New Zealand composers. In that standard repertory, it seems to me that the pieces by Brahms, particularly the fine Geistliches Lied on the later recording, and the Mendelssohn, come off with especial care and nuance.


Of the New Zealand composers, one first remarks that these are all quite conservative pieces. In that sense, they fit the somewhat reflective and romantic vein that moves both discs. Within that traditional context, a couple caught my ear. Song of Hope by Anthony Ritchie has a fine surge to it as a response to a disaster in which many people died. David Hamilton’s Karanga is the only piece to approach modern choral techniques, though within a still traditional framework, and Christopher Marshall’s pieces, to words by Katherine Mansfield and to Samoan texts, occasionally suggest the winds of other sounds. These are all on the second disc.


These are fine calling-card discs, and there is pleasure to be heard in both. The later program is the more adventurous, but both must have made good listening in the hall. As best I can tell, these two recordings come from about two years apart, 2005 and 2007(?), during which it sounds as if the ensemble had increased in size, but that may be an acoustical quirk of the recording location. The latter places more room around the choir, which can rob the loud parts of their punch. The choir’s website tells me that they have made a third recording, one of Christmas music, but I think this ensemble is now ready to tackle more challenging repertory.


FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Partsongs (7), Op. 17: no 3, My spirit sang all day by Gerald Finzi
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934-1937; England 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
2.
Shenandoah, for chorus by James Erb
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
3.
A Sprig of Thyme: Afton Water by John Rutter
Performer:  Claire Caldwell (Piano)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 03/2005 
Venue:  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4.
A Sprig of Thyme: Down by the sally gardens by John Rutter
Performer:  Claire Caldwell (Piano)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 03/2005 
Venue:  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
5.
Chansons (3) de Charles d'Orléans: no 1, Dieu! qu'il la fait bon regarder by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898; France 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
6.
Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103: No. 5 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Claire Caldwell (Piano)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887 
Date of Recording: 03/2005 
Venue:  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell 
Length: 1 Minutes 20 Secs. 
7.
Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103: No. 6 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Claire Caldwell (Piano)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887 
Date of Recording: 03/2005 
Venue:  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
8.
Folksongs (3) for 2 Voices: no 2, Abendlied by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Claire Caldwell (Piano)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Romantic 
Written: after 1839; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/2005 
Venue:  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
9.
Locus iste in C major, WAB 23 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
10.
Ye choirs of new Jerusalem, Op. 123 by Charles Villiers Stanford
Performer:  John Wells (Organ)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; England 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Live  St Matthew's-in-the-City, Auckland 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
11.
He is risen, for chorus & organ by Richard Madden
Performer:  John Wells (Organ)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Live  St Matthew's-in-the-City, Auckland 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
12.
Ave Verum, for chorus by Katherine Dienes
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
13.
City Called Heaven, arr. for chorus & piano by Josephine Poelinitz
Performer:  Claire Caldwell (Piano), Maugapaia Ropeti-Lupeli (Voice)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Date of Recording: 03/2005 
Venue:  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
14.
Ain't-a that good news? by William Dawson
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
15.
I Can't Give You Anything but Love by James Francis McHugh
Performer:  Claire Caldwell (Piano), Patrick Tanielu (Percussion)
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2005 
Venue:  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
16.
Songs of Samoa: Sau la'u teine Samoa by Christopher Marshall
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
17.
Songs of Samoa: Pusi nofo by Christopher Marshall
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 0 Minutes 47 Secs. 
18.
Now Is the Hour, folk song (New Zealand) by Traditional
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
19.
Lay a Garland, for 8 voices by Robert Lucas Pearsall
Conductor:  Terence Maskell
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1840 
Date of Recording: 05/2005-06/2005 
Venue:  St Michael's, Remuera 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 

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