Notes and Editorial Reviews
Much pleasure, here, not least in the entertaining notes which though unattributed are far from anonymous in style and content. The selection of music includes a high proportion of Anglican pops: none the worse for that, especially as their merits are still not sufficiently well recognized (everyone 'knows' that a Te Deum by Berlioz or Bruckner must be better than Stanford, whether in B flat or C, and that an In pace by Victoria or Palestrina would be certain to reduce Wesley's Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace to insignificance, so they don't listen to judge for themselves). The variety of material is welcome too. There are the grand coronation pieces, the fanfares, the festival arrangements, but also modest, simple compositions like Vaughan Williams's O taste and see and Lord, for Thy tender mercy's sake now thought to be by John Hilton, senior. Two psalms are included, one of them a special setting, the other sung to the traditional type of Anglican chant. Each item has a particular association with the Abbey, though perhaps Widor's celebrated Toccata stretches a point in this respect as indeed it does in most others.
The choir are in fine form under Martin Neary, the trebles rejoicing in the top B flats of I was glad like a decani of Domingos, a cantoris of Pavarottis, in the making. Taking care over the hymns as over the anthems, they phrase the first verse of The Lord's my shepherd with scrupulous care, showing in the process just how awkward and tiresome the versification is. An inspired setting is the "O enter then His gates with praise" verse of The Old Hundredth with Vaughan Williams's solo trumpet obbligato; that, and the quartet "O pray for the peace of Jerusalem" in I was glad, were for me the two most lovely things in an entirely delightful record.
– Gramophone [10/1989], reviewing this album previously released as Pickwick 919
Just in time for the royal nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton comes a rousing collection of compositions from many royal occasions and state events at Westminster Abbey, including coronations and royal weddings.