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Leighton: Cathedral Music / Scott, St Paul's Cathedral Choir


Release Date: 03/08/2005 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55195   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kenneth LeightonTraditional
Performer:  Nigel BeavanAndrew LucasNeil MackieThomas Colwell,   ... 
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

As with the Chandos disc containing three of Leighton's orchestral works (Symphony No. 3, the Cello Concerto and Veris gratia), welcomed by MK in October 1989, this collection of choral music brings the composer more sharply into focus than when, as has usually been the case, he is represented by single pieces in recital or in the context of choral church service. Hearing individual examples of his art, one may note and respond to this characteristic and that, yet still fail to correlate or 'add up'. Exposure to him here, in an hour and more of his music, enables one to gain a much better sense of Leightonness.

There are the features that place him in period: the syncopations, discords, clusters and so forth. More individual
Read more is the strong sense of form, instanced by the unity of idiom in the movements of the cantata, Crucifixus pro nobis, and by the relation of the Glorias of Magnificat and Nunc dimittis to the mood of their respective openings. Clarity of part-writing and resourcefulness of technique testify to the soundness and breadth of his training, while his sure effectiveness in everything included here tells of a man for whom choir stalls and organ lofts were part of the furniture of his mind.

Under John Scott, the Choir of St Paul's have made recordings distinguished from others of their kind by the grandeur, the rich colours, of their sound; here there is all of that, together with a special sensitivity in their care over words. The text of Sir Thomas Browne's somewhat chilly Evening Hymn is wonderfully clear, and in Phifleas Fletcher's Drop, drop, slow tears (the fourth movement of the Crucifixus), the choir reinforces assurance that this is different from the more familiar 'verse'-settings, intensely specific in expression. Neil MacKie sings his part in the cantata with the utmost beauty: the writing lies high, but everything is sung firmly and with true tenor tone, the singer's production as natural as his enunciation. Andrew Lucas plays with sure skill, and the recording-balance has been directed so that the often elaborate organ-part never obscures the choir. If the prospective listener needs a sample first, I would suggest the Te Deum, its deepening of seriousness bringing an ever-closer view of a composer most of us have still to explore.

-- Gramophone [12/1992]
reviewing the original release of this title, Hyperion 66489
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Works on This Recording

1.
Te Deum laudamus by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Nigel Beavan (), Andrew Lucas (Organ)
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964/1966 
2.
Crucifixus pro nobis, Op. 38 by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Andrew Lucas (Organ), Neil Mackie (Tenor)
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; England 
3.
Let all the world in every corner sing by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Andrew Lucas (Organ)
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955 
4.
Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lucas (Organ), Thomas Colwell (Boy Soprano)
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Kenneth Leighton 
5.
Missa brevis, Op. 50 by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Andrew Lucas (Organ), Timothy Jones (Bass)
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967 
6.
An Evening Hymn by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Jamie Hopkins (Boy Soprano), Andrew Lucas (Organ)
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979 
7.
Second Service, Op. 62: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Andrew Lucas (Organ)
Conductor:  John Scott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; England 

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