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Britten: The Choral Edition / Spicer, The Finzi Singers

Britten / Finzi Singers / Spicer
Release Date: 06/25/2013 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10771  
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Andrew Lumsden
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi SingersLichfield Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

With vocal soloists:
Jonathan Cannock treble, Helen Groves, Mhairi Lawson sopranos, Kathryn Cook, Elinor Carter altos, James Gilchrist, Andrew Carwood tenors, Michael McCarthy, Charles Gibbs, basses.

Britten’s substantial choral output ranges from small-scale pieces for boys’ choir to massive works such as the Spring Symphony and War Requiem. This three-album compilation brings together a large selection of early and late unaccompanied choral works, performed by The Finzi Singers under Paul Spicer.

Here, among many others, is Rejoice in the Lamb, written in 1943 for Walter Hussey, the vicar of St Matthew’s Church in Northampton, for his congregation’s Jubilee Celebrations. Hussey was interested in forging
Read more a closer association between the arts and the Church, an aim that Britten himself shared. The composer chose as his text extracts from Christopher Smart’s Jubilate Agno, a rambling poem of the mid-eighteenth century, composed largely in a mad house. Although there is a delightful sense of madness present here, the religious character of the work is the most striking.

A.M.D.G., seven unaccompanied settings of poems by Gerald Manley Hopkins, was among the first works written by Britten after his arrival in the US in 1939. The work’s title is an abbreviation of Ad majorem Dei gloriam (To the greater glory of God), a saying that appears throughout the writings of Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order of which Hopkins was a member. The premiere performance of this work was meant to take place in November 1939, but the outbreak of war caused the concert to be cancelled. The first performance was given by the London Sinfonietta Chorus, several years after the composer’s death, in August 1984.

The Finzi Singers and Paul Spicer have recorded a wide variety of British music for Chandos, much of which has not been heard before either in performance or on disc. They have been regarded as major exponents of British twentieth-century choral music.

- Chandos Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Wedding Anthem, Op. 46 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; England 
2. Te Deum in C major by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; England 
3. Sacred and Profane, Op. 91 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974-1975; England 
4. Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
5. Missa Brevis in D major, Op. 63 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; England 
6. Jubilate Deo in E flat major by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Andrew Lumsden (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; England 
7. Jubilate Deo in C major by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; England 
8. Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930/1934; England 
9. Hymn to St Peter, Op. 56a by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; England 
10. Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
11. Hymn of St Columba by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; England 
12. Gloriana, Op. 53: Choral Dances by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 
13. Flower Songs (5), Op. 47 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; England 
14. Festival Te Deum in E major, Op. 32 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; England 
15. Antiphon, Op. 56b by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; England 
16. Advance Democracy by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; England 
17. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; England 
18. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
19. A Boy was Born, Op. 3 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lichfield Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933/1955; England 
20. Sweet was the Song the Virgin Sung by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paul Spicer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finzi Singers

Sound Samples

Hymn to St. Peter, Op. 56a
A Hymn of St. Columba
A Hymn to the Virgin
Hymn to St. Cecilia, Op. 27: I. In a Garden Shady
Hymn to St. Cecilia, Op. 27: II. I Cannot Grow
Hymn to St. Cecilia, Op. 27: III. O Ear Whose Creatures Cannot Wish to Fall
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: Rejoice in God, o ye Tongues
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: Let Nimrod, the mighty hunter ...
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: Hallelujah from the heart of God ...
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For the Mouse is a creature
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For the flowers are great blessing
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For I am under the same accusation
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For H is a spirit
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For the instruments are by their rhimes ...
Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: Hallelujah from the heart of God ... (reprise)
Gloriana, Op. 53: Choral Dances: No. 1. Time
Gloriana, Op. 53: Choral Dances: No. 2. Concord
Gloriana, Op. 53: Choral Dances: No. 3. Time and Concord
Gloriana, Op. 53: Choral Dances: No. 4. Country Girls
Gloriana, Op. 53: Choral Dances: No. 5. Rustics and Fishermen
Gloriana, Op. 53: Choral Dances: No. 6. Final Dance of Homage
A.M.D.G.: No. 1. Prayer I
A.M.D.G.: No. 2. Rosa Mystica
A.M.D.G.: No. 3. God's Grandeur
A.M.D.G.: No. 4. Prayer II
A.M.D.G.: No. 5. O Deus, ego amo te
A.M.D.G.: No. 6. The Soldier
A.M.D.G.: No. 7. Heaven-Haven
Jubilate Deo
Te Deum in C major
Antiphon, Op. 56b
Missa brevis, Op. 63: Kyrie
Missa brevis, Op. 63: Gloria
Missa brevis, Op. 63: Sanctus
Missa brevis, Op. 63: Benedictus
Missa brevis, Op. 63: Agnus Dei
A Wedding Anthem, Op. 46
Christ's Nativity (Anonymous lyricist): Christ's Nativity: Sweet was the Song
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Procession
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Wolcum yole!
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: There is no rose
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: That yonge child
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Balulalow
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: As dew in Aprille
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: This little Babe
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Interlude
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: In freezing winter night
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Spring Carol
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Deo Gracias!
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Recession
Festival Te Deum, Op. 32
Jubilate Deo: (reprise)

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