While the music of James Kent, Charles Avison, and Samuel Webbe have largely fallen into obscurity, two centuries ago these composers’ works were highly sought-after. This release aims to bring these carols back into the limelight. This diverse array of pieces include some that have never before been recorded. Harry Christopher writes: “With this recording we have returned to our grass roots- choral music…As well as being full of choruses from Handel and Haydn oratorios, it also contains verse anthems by composers such as Kent, Linley, and Chapple. There is some absolutely beautiful solo writing in these verse anthems and I do hope with this recording we bring them to life again.” “A flawless Creation… it’s an exceptional account of theRead more oratorio from all points of view.” (BBC Music Magazine on Haydn: The Creation) “Carols include Morten Lauridsen’s sublime O magnum mysterium. It’s spectacularly sung here, five minutes of slowly unfolding bliss, beautifully controlled… The disc closes with Leontovich’s bracing Carol of the Bells, finishing with a resonant onomatopoeic “Bohm!” Glorious stuff.” (The Arts Desk on Joy to the World)
Kent's Hear my prayer is an exquisite opener. Two solo sopranos duet with Purcellian poise over a colourful continuo from cello (Guy Fisherman) and chamber organ (Ian Watson), supported with occasional choral interjections from Christophers's small chamber ensemble of singers.' Gramophone
Christophers draws a gold-standard execution from his choir.