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The Rodolfus Choir Choral Collection

Rodolfus Choir / Allwood
Release Date: 11/30/2010 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 240  
Composer:  Francis GrierLeo HussainRalph AllwoodEdvard Grieg,   ... 
Performer:  James BowmanChristopher Hughes
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Although they’re available singly, the slipcase edition contains all three CDs. None is new, and the most recent, which is the Tallis disc, dates from 2004. The Grier was recorded in 1994 and the Arrangement album at various times over half a decade.

It’s that one with which we’ll begin as it serves up variety and unexpected things in good measure. You’ll find choral arrangements of such as Chopin Etudes, Peer Gynt, the Nutcracker Suite, and the Toccata finale from Widor’s Symphony No.5 for organ, rendered as ‘Sing!’ by
Read more David Willcocks. The arrangers are a wide-ranging group – Ralph Allwood, one of The Rodolfus Choir’s directors is prominent. Inevitably perhaps there is one of Clytus Gottwald’s Mahler refashionings, but we also find the (authentic) Barber in one of its composer-sanctioned guises. I took to the Grieg, which works nicely, whilst the Ave verum corpus is, in a sense, half way there. The Schubert has piano accompaniment, but inflating An die Musik in this way is not especially worthwhile, I have to say. The dance from the Nutcracker is arranged by Leo Hussain and is good fun, though Robert Quinney turns the same composer’s Quartet movement into an Ave Maria. That said Jonathan Rathbone turns the ‘Air on a G string’ into a Requiem aeternam. I suppose that’s the problem with this sort of thing in the end; an excess of piety.

The Tallis disc is reflective and intimately shaped. Suscipe quaeso Domine is a very beautiful piece of music and I happen to prefer this interpretation to that of the Tallis Scholars on Gimell [GIM006], by virtue of its greater sense of reflective intimacy. Another difference between them is tonal. The Tallis group prefers a more ringing top line, less blended, and in this sense more angular in phrasing, with voices occasionally emerging piping out of the texture. They generally too prefer faster tempi, and more abrupt accenting, as can be heard in their respective performances; Loquebantur variis linguis is a case in point. The Rodolphus is a touch more measured, more obviously blended. The English motet If ye love me, though very brief, generates great tonal warmth and is an example of this group at its very best.

The disc devoted to Francis Grier is an exceptionally fine one. It helps that the writing is so clever and sympathetic; also that Grier has a nice line in declamation. The passionate co-exists with introspective reflection – a real mulling over of the material in single or mass lines – in Let us invoke Christ. The Three Short Anthems might suggest the influence of Rachmaninoff, with the last one almost exultant in its affirmation. Day after Day was written for the soloist, here, James Bowman and The Rodolfus Choir. It’s a setting of Tagore and is a haunting piece, maybe influenced by Vaughan Williams. What is so impressive about Grier’s settings is the sense of devotional athleticism; there’s nothing slumbering here. The pirouetting element throughout Thou, O God, art praised in Sion attests to the vitality of the writing, and to the surety of the design.

The performances are generally excellent, so too the recordings. I suggest picking and choosing rather than going for the box, unless you’re a real fan of the choir, since the repertoire is so divergent.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
How do I love thee? [after Chopin Op. 10 no 3] by Leo Hussain
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
2.
Pro peccatis suae gentis [after Chopin Op. 28 no 20] by Ralph Allwood
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
3.
Peer Gynt, Op. 23: no 18, Solvejg's Song by Edvard Grieg
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874-1875; Norway 
Notes: arr. Alex Milner/Lora Sansun 
4.
Ave verum corpus in D major, K 618 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Austria 
Notes: arr. Ben Parry  
5.
An die Musik, D 547 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: arr. Lydia Smallwood  
6.
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: no 3, Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Notes: arr. Leo Hussain  
7.
Pieces (2) for Small Orchestra: no 1, On Hearing the First Cuckoo by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; France 
Notes: arr. Robert Quinney  
8.
Ave Maria [after Tchaikovsky String Quartet no 1, Andante cantabile] by Ralph Allwood
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
9.
Rückert Lieder (5): no 3, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: arr. Clytus Gottwald  
10.
Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen, D 343 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: arr. Ralph Allwood  
11.
Die mit Tränen säen [after Bach Prelude in B flat minor, WTC Bk I] by Ralph Allwood
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
12.
Christo smarrito [after Puccini Crisantemi] by Ralph Allwood
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Notes: arr. in collaboration with Lora Sansun  
13.
Agnus Dei, Op. 11 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; USA 
14.
Requiem aeternam [after Bach Air on the G string] by Jonathan Rathbone
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
15.
Sing! [after Widor Toccata from Symphony no 5] by Sir David Willcocks
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
16.
Let us invoke Christ by Francis Grier
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
17.
Day after day, O Lord of my Life by Francis Grier
Performer:  James Bowman (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: English 
18.
Salve Regina by Francis Grier
Performer:  Christopher Hughes (Organ)
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; England 
Length: 13 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 
19.
Dilectus meus mihi by Francis Grier
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
20.
Thou, O God, art praised in Sion by Francis Grier
Performer:  Christopher Hughes (Organ)
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: English 
21.
Short Anthems (3): no 1, Great is the power of Thy cross by Francis Grier
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
22.
Short Anthems (3): no 2, God, who made the earth and sky by Francis Grier
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
23.
Short Anthems (3): no 3, Proclaim His triumph by Francis Grier
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
24.
Devotions (3) to Christ our Redeemer: no 1, Corpus Christi Carol by Francis Grier
Performer:  Christopher Hughes (Organ)
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
25.
Devotions (3) to Christ our Redeemer: no 2, O King of the Friday by Francis Grier
Performer:  Christopher Hughes (Organ)
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
26.
Devotions (3) to Christ our Redeemer: no 3, Christ's Love Song by Francis Grier
Performer:  Christopher Hughes (Organ)
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: English 
27.
The Voice of my Beloved by Francis Grier
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
28.
Sancte Deus, sancte fortis by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
29.
Suscipe quaeso by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: after 1559; England 
30.
Salvator mundi, salva nos I by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1575; England 
31.
Miserere nostri by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: after 1559; England 
32.
In jejunio et fletu by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: after 1559; England 
33.
If ye love me by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
34.
Loquebantur variis linguis by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
35.
Candidi facti sunt Nazarei by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
36.
O Lord, give thy holy spirit by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
37.
O nata lux de lumine by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: after 1559; England 
38.
Videte miraculum by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
39.
Verily, verily I say unto you by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
40.
O praise the Lord (2nd version) by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
41.
O sacrum convivium by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
42.
Jesu salvator saeculi by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
43.
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
44.
Te lucis ante terminum by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
45.
Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 3, Why fum'th in fight by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 

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