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Evensong For The Feast Of The Translation Of Saint Edward / Westminster Abbey Choir

Choir Of Westminster Abbey
Release Date: 05/31/2011 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4802076   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Orlando GibbonsAnonymousWilliam ByrdCharles Hubert Parry,   ... 
Performer:  Simon Preston
Conductor:  William McKinney
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



EVENSONG OF THE FEAST OF THE TRANSLATION OF SAINT EDWARD William McKie, cond; Ch of Westminster Abbey; Simon Preston, org DECCA ELOQUENCE 4802076 (40:22 Text and Translation)


Music of GIBBONS, BYRD, PARRY, PURCELL, WIDOR


The liner identifies the master of the choristers as William McKinney, who was a black American jazz drummer, but in the headnote I have copied the name from the original LP (Argo ZRG 5371 and London OS Read more 25800; reissued as Eclipse ECS 661). St. Edward the Confessor (an earlier king was known as St. Edward the Martyr) was the Saxon king who began in 1150 to construct a new church at Westminster Abbey on the site where a church had stood since Roman times. It was consecrated in 1065, and just days later Edward was buried there. He was canonized in 1161, and his relics were translated (or moved) to a shrine behind the high altar on October 13, 1162, which became thereafter his feast day in the liturgical calendar. The construction of the church continued in Gothic style, leading to another translation to the present shrine in the Gothic apse on the same date in 1269. The reign of Henry VII saw the Lady Chapel enlarged, the last stage of building.


This service of Evensong celebrates a major feast day for the abbey. The recent series of services recorded by Hyperion (the feast of the dedicatory patron, St. Peter, Fanfare 34:3, is a good parallel to this) will demonstrate how far the choir has come since McKie’s time. Even so, this program caught the choir on a good day. Hyperion’s programs consist of the music from Matins, Eucharist, and Evensong of a feast day; this shorter disc is limited to Evensong, but in addition to the music, the recited prayers and readings are included to complete the service. The music includes the canticles from Byrd’s Second Service, Hubert Parry’s familiar “I Was Glad,” and the wonderful old warhorse, the toccata from Widor’s Fifth Symphony, played as recessional by Simon Preston (who later returned as master of the choristers). The sound is captured elegantly, as Argo was wont to do. The abbey choir can be partially traced on records from Ernest Bullock (in a bit of Palestrina on a Columbia shellac disc) to McKie (also for the 1953 coronation, issued on vinyl), Douglas Guest (who never conducted a recording), Preston (a Purcell collection on Archiv), Martin Neary (two Sony CDs), and O’Donnell on Hyperion. This disc honors McKie’s memory.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Preces and Responses by Orlando Gibbons
Performer:  Simon Preston (Organ)
Conductor:  William McKinney
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
2.
How lovely are Thy Dwellings by Anonymous
Performer:  Simon Preston (Organ)
Conductor:  William McKinney
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
3.
Second Service by William Byrd
Performer:  Simon Preston (Organ)
Conductor:  William McKinney
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
4.
I was glad by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Simon Preston (Organ)
Conductor:  William McKinney
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; England 
5.
Christ is made the sure foundation by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Simon Preston (Organ)
Conductor:  William McKinney
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Baroque 
6.
Symphony for Organ no 5 in f minor, Op. 42 no 1: 5th movement, Toccata by Charles-Marie Widor
Performer:  Simon Preston (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1880; Paris, France 

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