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Hear My Words: Choral Classics From St Johns

Choir Of St Johns College Cambridge / Nethsingha
Release Date: 11/16/2010 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5085  
Composer:  Gregorio AllegriGabriel FauréCésar FranckEdvard Grieg,   ... 
Performer:  Timothy RavaldeGraham WalkerHelen Scarbrough
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

As exclusive Chandos artists, the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge here presents its second release. The first CD, of choral music by Howells (CHAN 10587), was released to rave reviews in March this year. Choir and Organ wrote: 'There is musicianship here of a rare and moving kind.' This new release of popular choral classics should meet with a similar reception while at the same time appealing to a wider audience. Established in the 1670s, the Choir of St John's has a distinguished tradition of performing religious music. Its main duty is singing the daily services in the College Chapel during the University Term. During the University vacation the Choir carries out engagements in the UK and overseas, as well as undertaking a busy Read more recording schedule.

This particular release was recorded in the College Chapel in full surroundsound. The disc not only sounds spectacular, but recreates to an uncanny degree the experience of listening to the Choir perform in the chapel.

The music itself represents a time span of nearly 500 years of choral music. The earliest piece dates from the first half of the sixteenth century, and the newest was composed as recently as 2007. The styles and genres are varied, but there are clear links between the works throughout. For example, several are based on texts from the psalms, and the works by Pärt, Parsons, and Rachmaninoff offer three radically different interpretations of the Ave Maria. Some of the works also add a solo instrument to the familiar mix of voices and organ. But perhaps most importantly, all the pieces recorded here sit comfortably under the heading of 'Popular Choral Classics'. Allegri's Miserere is counted among the great classics of church music. Part of its mystique stems from its origins; for many years the work was performed only in the Sistine Chapel, and as with other works tied to a single place it became an object for pilgrimage. In this case the pilgrims included Mendelssohn, as well as Mozart who famously noted down the work from memory after leaving the Vatican, thereby risking excommunication by the Catholic Church. This new release also features Stanford's Jubilate, which was written for Trinity College, Cambridge. Intended as part of the service of Morning Prayer, it has long been one of the most popular canticles in the Anglican repertoire. In keeping with the text, Psalm 100, the tone is festive throughout.
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Works on This Recording

1. Miserere mei Deus: Miserere mei by Gregorio Allegri
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Italy 
2. Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Timothy Ravalde (Organ), Graham Walker (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; France 
3. Panis angelicus by César Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
4. Ave maris stella, EG 150 by Edvard Grieg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Norway 
5. A New Song by James MacMillan
Performer:  Timothy Ravalde (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; Scotland 
6. Exsultate Deo by Giovanni Palestrina
Performer:  Timothy Ravalde (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1584; Italy 
7. Hear my words, ye people by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Timothy Ravalde (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; England 
8. Ave Maria by Robert Parsons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1560s; England 
9. Bogoroditse Devo by Arvo Pärt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990; Estonia 
10. Ave Maria by Sergei Rachmaninov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Notes: Also titled "Bogorodice Devo". 
11. O Lord, thou hast searched me out by John Rutter
Performer:  Timothy Ravalde (Organ), Helen Scarbrough (English Horn)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
12. Jubilate in B flat major by Charles Villiers Stanford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
13. Mass à 5 "Salve intemerata": no 4, Agnus Dei by Thomas Tallis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1540; England 
14. O taste and see by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 

Sound Samples

Il salmo Miserere mei Deus
Ave, maris stella, EG 150 (version for choir): Ave, maris stella (version for choir)
Bogoroditse Dyevo (Mother of God and Virgin): Bogoroditse Djevo (Mother of God and Virgin)
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Hail, O Virgin Mother (Ave Maria)
Ave Maria
Motets for 5-8 Voices: Book 5 for 5 Voices: Exultate Deo
Agnus Dei
A New Song
Panis angelicus
Jubilate Deo
O Taste and See
O Lord, thou hast searched me out
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11
Hear my words, ye people

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