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Howells From Hereford / Geraint Bowen, Hereford Cathedral Choir

Dyke,Peter
Release Date: 05/11/2010 
Label:  Regent   Catalog #: 316   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HOWELLS Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Gloucester Service; Hereford Service; Worcester Service; Collegium Regale). Te Deum and Jubilate (Collegium Regale). 4 Anthems Peter Dyke (org); Geraint Bowen, cond; Hereford Cathedral Ch REGENT REGCD 10587 (74:12 Text and Translation)


Here is an idea so sensible that one is surprised it hasn’t been done before: a CD Read more that brings together all three of Howells’ settings of the Evensong canticles (the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis ) composed for the three diocesan cathedrals that have sponsored the longstanding Three Choirs Festival. These are sensibly combined with Howells’ famous settings of the canticles for Morning Prayer and Evensong for the choir of King’s College, Cambridge (the Collegium Regale), and the complete set of four anthems from January 1942. Perhaps the only alternative one might have recommended on this selection would have been to substitute the Collegium Regale Office of Holy Communion for the four anthems, to include in one album that complete set of service music, as was once done on an Argo CD with Stephen Cleobury and the namesake King’s College Choir (presently available as an ArkivMusic reissue).


In Fanfare 34:1 I praised a recent Chandos CD of Howells’ sacred music by the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, which includes the Gloucester Service and Collegium Regale Te Deum offered here. These too are excellent performances, and yet very different in character. Whereas the St. John’s Choir offers a smooth, blended texture and plummy, weighty sonority, emphasized by the typical reverberant Chandos sound, the Hereford Choir instead favors a much leaner sound (emphasized by a concomitant recorded acoustic), with more pronounced contrast between the different voice ranges. The tempi are more rapid, the rhythms more angular, the harmonies more biting, and the boy trebles more bright and piercing (though thankfully not harsh). The contrast is so pronounced that it is almost like listening to two different pieces of music; however, given relatively little overlap between the contents of the two CDs, the Howells collector will want to have both. So far as I can tell, this is also the only CD currently available that offers all four of the anthems as a set; the magnificent setting of Let God Arise would be reason enough to acquire this disc. Special mention should be made of the unusually informative, intelligible, and well-written booklet notes by noted choral conductor and Howells specialist Paul Spicer, a veritable model of what those should be. No lover of Howells’ choral music can afford to miss this superb album.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Te Deum and Jubilate "Collegium Regale" by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; England 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 11 Minutes 28 Secs. 
2.
O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, for chorus by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Modern 
Written: 1941; United Kingdom 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 6 Minutes 25 Secs. 
3.
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis "Gloucester" by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 10 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4.
We have heard with our ears, anthem for chorus & organ by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 4 Minutes 41 Secs. 
5.
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis "Hereford" by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; England 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 8 Minutes 52 Secs. 
6.
Anthems (4) for Chorus: no 3, Like as the hart desireth by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; England 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
7.
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis "Worcester" by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; England 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 8 Minutes 50 Secs. 
8.
Let God arise, anthem for chorus & organ by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 8 Minutes 26 Secs. 
9.
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis "Collegium Regale" by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Hertfordsh 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 

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