Psalms For The Soul - Howells, Stanford, Parry, Sumsion, Etc

Release Date: 9/26/2000
Label: Naxos
Catalog Number: 8554823
Performer: Michael Bloss
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
Low Stock
$11.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews

Choral enthusiasts, arise! Here is a new recording that you can really get excited about. A dozen or so miles north of the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, lies the village of Elora. And there, at St. John's Anglican Church, is a choir that stands among the best in North America. Its director, Noel Edison, also is the founder of the acclaimed Elora Festival and its Elora Festival Singers, another world-class professional ensemble. The singing on this disc, which includes Psalm settings for the Anglican service, a couple of anthems with Psalm texts, and service music for Good Friday known as The Reproaches, gives further confirmation of Canada's second-to-none stature in the world of choral singing. During the six years that I lived in Kitchener (in the pre-Elora Festival days) I discovered and participated in a choral music tradition that's not widely known or appreciated outside of Canada. Mostly centered in the Anglican churches, it breeds generations of singers who not only are rooted in English church music but also, because of the country's relatively small population and brief musical history, are open to all the world's music, and especially to contemporary works. Luckily for us, Naxos has found this outstanding St. John's choir and I hope we can look forward to many more recordings.


Of course, this program is of a fairly specialized nature. Anglican chant--a stylized singing of liturgical texts, in this case the psalms, to an original, fully harmonized tune--is not for everyone. But over the centuries many of the world's finest composers have lent this form their interest and inspiration--and many lesser-known but highly competent organists and choir directors have contributed their own often strikingly imaginative efforts. If sung properly, as they are here, and if the musical settings are well chosen--also the case on this recording--then listeners are in for a treat. There are too many highlights to single them all out, from Charles Hylton Stewart's Psalms 23 and 103, to David Willcocks' Psalm 131, Hubert Parry's Psalm 84, Ivor Atkins' Psalm 149, Edison's own Psalm 121, and the resounding closer, Stanford's Psalm 150. More famously represented are Edward Bairstow's luscious Lamentations, and the anthems by Herbert Sumsion (They that go down to the sea in ships) and Herbert Howells (Like as the hart, in a lovely, highly romantic rendition with triplets stretched to the limit and beyond). Lennox Berkeley's wonderful The Lord is my Shepherd, so simple and perfect in its expression of the text, deserves wide recognition, and former Gloucester Cathedral organist John Sanders' sensational setting of The Reproaches alone gives reason to own this disc. The well-balanced, luminous sound gives all the immediacy and presence the music requires.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. Reproaches by John Derek Sanders
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1987 ; England
2. Psalm VIII by Henry Lawes
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: Baroque
Written: 17th Century ; England
3. I was glad by Richard Woodward
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: Classical
4. They that go down to the sea in ships by Herbert Sumsion
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1979 ; England
5. O how amiable are thy dwellings by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: Romantic
6. The Lamentation by Edward Bairstow
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1942 ; England
7. The Lord is my Shepherd, Op. 91 no 1 by Lennox Berkeley
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1975 ; England
8. Psalm 121 by Noel Edison
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
9. Anthems (4) for Chorus: no 3, Like as the hart desireth by Herbert Howells
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1941 ; England
10. O praise the Lord of Heaven by Thomas Attwood Walmisley
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: Romantic
Written: 19th Century ; England
11. Psalm 149 by Ivor Atkins
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
12. Psalm 131 by Sir David Willcocks
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
13. The Lord is my shepherd by Charles Hylton Stewart
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
14. Laudate Dominum by Charles Villiers Stanford
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: Romantic
15. Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord by Charles Hylton Stewart
Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Choir of St. John's
Period: 20th Century
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