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A Gaelic Blessing / Owen, St. Mary's Cathedral Choir


Release Date: 02/14/2006 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34007   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  David GoodenoughJohannes BrahmsGeorge HenschelSamuel Sebastian Wesley,   ... 
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The disc's title refers to the ever-popular John Rutter setting of a famous benediction, and it's very well sung here--as are virtually all of the 17 selections, which range from grandiose cathedral anthems of S.S. Wesley (Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace) and Edgar Bainton (And I saw a new heaven) to the refined simplicity of Mozart's Ave verum corpus and profound beauty of Brahms' Geistliches Lied Op. 30 and "Wie lieblich sind Deine Wohnungen" from the German Requiem. Franck's oft-performed Panis angelicus is expressed with appropriate tenderness and long, lovely lines, while Arvo Pärt's De profundis is truly depth-defying.


But several highlights appear in the more recently composed works,
Read more particularly Geoffrey Burgon's Nunc dimittis, with its boldly expressive, chant-like melody, Colin Mawby's harmonically rich, thematically catchy (in the best Elgarian sense) Ave verum corpus, and David Goodenough's flowing, exuberant, soul-satisfying I will sing with the spirit. Finzi's virtually unknown, wonderfully strange yet gorgeous little anthem My lovely one (written for a friend's wedding) proved a delightful surprise, and St. Mary's director Matthew Owens' own Holy Trinity Blessing makes a perfect conclusion to a terrific program. Interestingly, the oldest and newest works here stand up the best to time and repeated listening, while in comparison the early-20th-century cathedral-style pieces by Wesley, Bainton, and Henschel (Tantum ergo) just sound overwrought and dated.


The choir has a magnificent sound, owing partly to its inclusion of girl trebles to the mix of boys and men, but also to the careful blend and balancing work by conductor Owens and the obvious attention to articulation and phrasing that really makes this music communicate rather than dictate. The acoustic is fairly bright, which may not appeal to some listeners who prefer a warmer environment, but there's no denying that this is a strong and very satisfying program that choral fans will appreciate for its well-chosen combination of familiar and unknown but eminently worthy new works. Highly recommended!
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
I will sing with the Spirit by David Goodenough
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Geistliches Lied, Op. 30 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
3.
German Requiem, Op. 45: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1868; Austria 
4.
Tantum Ergo by George Henschel
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
5.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace by Samuel Sebastian Wesley
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1850; England 
6.
And I saw a new heaven by Edgar Bainton
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
7.
Nunc dimittis, H 127 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; England 
8.
Ave verum corpus in D major, K 618 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Austria 
9.
De profundis by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977-1980; Estonia 
10.
Panis angelicus by César Franck
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
11.
A Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
12.
Father eternal by Francis Jackson
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
13.
Song for Athene by John Tavener
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; England 
14.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Nunc dimittis by Geoffrey Burgon
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; England 
15.
Ave verum corpus by Colin Mawby
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; London, England 
16.
Anthems (3), Op. 27: no 1, My lovely one by Gerald Finzi
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; England 
17.
Trinity Blessing by Matthew Owens
Conductor:  Matthew Owens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Mary's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 

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