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O Sacrum Convivium - Byrd, Holst, Etc / Gough, London University Royal Holloway Choir


Release Date: 03/25/2008 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 127   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  William ByrdTomás Luis de VictoriaThomas WeelkesArvo Pärt,   ... 
Performer:  Samuel Rathbone
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The University of London's Choir of Royal Holloway may not be among the best-known or voluminously recorded English choral ensembles, but these 20 "choral scholars" certainly know their stuff and perform admirably in this diverse program, anchored by several staples of sacred choral repertoire--Victoria's O magnum mysterium, Weelkes' When David heard, Bruckner's Christus factus est, Stanford's Ye choirs of new Jerusalem. These are nicely balanced with the more modern (and equally revered) Magnificat by Pärt and Robert Walker's ethereal work for choir and organ, As the apple tree, as well as by the rarely heard and very lovely B-flat Nunc dimittis by Charles Wood.

Seasoned choral listeners may look at this
Read more disc's title and presume that it refers to the famous O sacrum convivium by Messiaen--but they will be pleasantly surprised to hear Gabriel Jackson's 1990 setting, which is similarly homophonic and scored with equally rich, vibrant harmonies--yet created with an entirely different, slightly more brightly colored palette. The choir performs this piece with passion and without flaw--it's the highlight of the disc. There are a few less stellar moments, primarily concerning odd intonation lapses in the Pärt and in the Weelkes Alleluia, I heard a voice, but overall these are excellent and highly recommendable performances. The recording is just slightly on the bright side, which suits most of the music very well, and the listening perspective allows for proper ensemble balance while preserving important textural detail. Bravo!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Gradualia, Volume 1: Part 2 - no 7, O sacrum convivum by William Byrd
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1605; England 
2. O magnum mysterium by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
3. Alleluia, I heard a voice by Thomas Weelkes
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
4. When David heard that Absalom was slain by Thomas Weelkes
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
5. Magnificat by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; Germany 
6. Nunc dimittis, H 127 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; England 
7. O sacrum convivium by Gabriel Jackson
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: 20th Century 
8. Christus factus est in D minor, WAB 10 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; Vienna, Austria 
9. Nunc Dimittis by Charles Wood
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; England 
10. As the apple tree by Robert Walker
Performer:  Samuel Rathbone (Organ)
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Written: 1982 
11. Ye choirs of new Jerusalem, Op. 123 by Charles Villiers Stanford
Performer:  Samuel Rathbone (Organ)
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London University Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; England 

Featured Sound Samples

O magnum mysterium (Victoria)
Alleluia, I heard a voice (Weelkes)

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