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Christmas From Hereford / Bowen, Hereford Cathedral Choir

Williams / Hereford Cathdral Choir / Bowen
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Regent   Catalog #: 388  
Composer:  TraditionalOtto GoldschmidtJohn JoubertSir Philip Ledger,   ... 
Performer:  Peter Dyke
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This cozy, gentle, and varied collection of Christmas music from Hereford Cathedral is broken into three sections: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. The music ranges from the 14th-century Resonemus laudibus, a joyous piece arranged with a fanciful organ part by David Willcocks to offset the rigidity of the medieval melody, to a work by John Tavener (his glorious—and only—brief masterpiece, The Lamb), with stops in between, in each of the three sections, for one of Mendelssohn’s short but imposing Op. 79 motets. The CD opens with Vaughan Williams’ arrangement of the ascetic This is the truth sent from above (a/k/a The Herefordshire Carol), in a version he learned from a local folksinger in 1909; it
Read more begins in the treble and is then taken up by the basses, getting richer in its harmonies as its melody retains its simplicity.

Willcocks’ large-scale arrangements of such familiar works as O come all ye faithful and Hark! The herald angels sing, with grand organ accompaniments (or riffs), are sung full-throatedly by the men and boys; by contrast, the mild delivery of the beautiful Jesus Christ the apple tree, an 18th century poem set by Elizabeth Poston, sung by the higher voices alone, is the soul of sweetness. The arrangement of O Holy Night by Mack Wilberg (director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) is beautifully complex if somewhat severe; it is also the only example of the trebles’ singing a smidge off-key (their white tone edges north on the word “shining”), a flaw immediately forgiven.

Peter Dyke contributes a new, rich arrangement of Three kings, with daunting dynamic changes the choir is more than up to. It is followed by a simply lovely, noble, relaxed rendition of Bethlehem down by Peter Warlock (Philip Arnold Heseltine), making us regret this composer’s early death. Two world premieres by Richard Lloyd, the Hereford Choir’s music director prior to Geraint Bowen, impress: God from on high, with mellow organ accompaniment, sounds immediately familiar; An hymn to the Nativity of my Saviour tests and proves the solidity of the trebles’ highest register. William Mathias’ daring arrangement, with challenging, lively tempo fluctuations, of Sir Christemas (Nowell, nowell) takes an early 16th century carol and places it firmly in the 21st century. Throughout, Peter Dyke’s organ playing ranges from discreet to imperious, and Geraint Bowen’s leadership is as expected, combining warmth and accuracy. The cathedral’s acoustic is intimate and inviting. A lovely and unusual disc.

-- ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
This is the truth sent from above by Traditional
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Written: England 
Notes: Arrangement: Ralph Vaughan Williams 
2.
A Tender Shoot by Otto Goldschmidt
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
3.
There is no rose, Op. 14 by John Joubert
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; England 
4.
Adam lay y-bounden by Sir Philip Ledger
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Contemporary 
5.
E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come by Paul Manz
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1954; USA 
6.
Anthems (6), Op. 79: no 5, Lasset uns frohlocken by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843-1846; Germany 
7.
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elisabeth Poston
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; England 
8.
English Hymnal: O little town of Bethlehem by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; England 
9.
Minuit, Chrétiens "O holy night" by Adolphe Adam
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
10.
God from on high by Richard Lloyd
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Written: 2011 
11.
A Hymn on the Nativity of my Saviour by Richard Lloyd
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Written: 2010 
12.
Wassail Carol by William Mathias
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
13.
Ave Rex, Op. 45: Sir Christèmas by William Mathias
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; Wales, UK 
14.
Anthems (6), Op. 79: no 1, Frohlocket, ihr Volker auf Erden by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Germany 
15.
Sing we to this merry company by John Rutter
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
16.
The Lamb "Little Lamb, who made thee?" by John Tavener
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; England 
17.
Carols (3), Op. 17: no 3, Alleluya, a new work is come on hand by Peter Wishart
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; England 
18.
Resonemus laudibus, for baritone, chorus, cello, harp & organ by Sir David Willcocks
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Modern 
19.
On this day earth shall ring by Haldane Campbell Stuart
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
20.
Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
21.
Above all praise and majesty by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
22.
Here is the little door by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1920; England 
23.
Three Kings by Peter Dyke
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
24.
Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
25.
Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Notes: Arrangement: David Willcocks 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Christmas Gift for 2013 January 4, 2013 By Herschel V. Anderson (Mesa, AZ) See All My Reviews "This recording of Christmas music by the Hereford Cathedral Choir is perfect for a gift at any time of the year. I received it as well as gave it as a gift at Christmas, 2012. For liturgical purists, Choir Director Geriant Bowen has grouped the music in three categories: music written for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Included are many traditional carols as well as a number of contemporary songs. These latter include two poems: "God from on high" (Charles Coffin, 1676-1749) and "An Hymn on the Nativity of my Savior" (Ben Jonson, 1573-1637) as world premier recordings; they were put to music by Bowen's predecessor at Hereford, Richard Lloyd. The crystal clear voices of the Chorister sopranos are beautifully balanced with the base, tenor, and alto voices of the Lay Clerks along with the accompanying organ played by Peter Dyke. There is a small amount of echo in the recording but the sound engineers have managed to keep it to a minimum, a major accomplishment since the music was recorded in Hereford Cathedral. This recording is recdommended to anyone who enjoys choral music. It can be listened to again and again without getting tired." Report Abuse
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