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Bax/Finzi/Vaughan Williams: Choral Works

Ralph Vaughan Williams , Sir Arnold Bax , Gerald Finzi , Sir David Willcocks , Stephen Cleobury , et al. Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Performer: John Eaton, Nigel Perrin, Robin Doveton, David van Asch
  • Orchestra: Cambridge King's College Choir
  • Conductor: Sir David Willcocks, Stephen Cleobury
  • Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Arnold Bax, Gerald Finzi
  • Audio CD (10 Jun 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: British Composers
  • ASIN: B000005GSG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,248 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Mass In G Minor: KyrieKing's College Choir Of Cambridge 3:580.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Mass In G Minor: Gloria In ExcelsisChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Richard Farnes 4:06Album Only
Listen  3. Mass In G Minor: CredoChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 6:58Album Only
Listen  4. Mass In G Minor: Sanctus Osanna I - Benedictus - Osanna IiKing's College Choir Of Cambridge 5:290.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mass In G Minor: Agnus DeiKing's College Choir Of Cambridge 3:490.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Lo, The Full, Final Sacrifice Op.26King's College Choir Of Cambridge14:00Album Only
Listen  7. Mater Ora FiliumKing's College Choir Of Cambridge10:25Album Only
Listen  8. God is gone up Op. 27 No. 2Choir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Richard Farnes 4:310.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. I sing of a maiden that is makelessChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 3:540.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. This Worldes JoieChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 6:180.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Magnificat Op. 36Choir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Richard Farnes 9:220.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 4 Aug 2001
Format:Audio CD
This disc is rather disappointing in many ways. The music recorded here is important in the English choral tradition, but parts of the recording do not do the works justice.
The disc starts well: Vaughan Williams's Mass in G is a fantastic work, and the performance by the Choir of King's College Cambridge is fine. David Willcocks yet again demonstrates why he is one of the finest conductors of choral music and one of the finest choir trainers of the latter part of the twentieth century. The choir's diction, tone, intonation, clarity, blend and intelligence are explemplary. The result is a recording of power, emotion and sensitivity.
The second half of the CD is made up of King's performing works by Bax and Finzi. Following the Vaughan Williams, these seem very poor. Captured twenty years later, the choir now under Stephen Cleobury's direction, these recording are essentially boring and unimaginative. The choir is still technically brilliant, but there is little life to these works. There is little sense of excitment in the singing, few great contrasts. The impression one gets is that the choir is too busy with technicalities to stand back and think about what is being sung and appreciate the beauty of it.
This recording is worth having because of the nature of the music that is on the disc, but the second half fails to live up to the standards of the first.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad executions??! 29 April 2006
By D. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm sorry - but I just had to write something in response to "kris's" (whoever she is) review of this cd. Shock horror - no adult female voices, no sopranos and no "breathy alto entrance" in the Kyrie! Sure, this work was first perfomed by the whitsuntide singers, which would have included female singers. However, it is a Mass for goodness sake. It was written surely with R.R. Terry's (not to mention the Pope's) drive for the revival of the great latin music of Tudor composers in mind. In fact, the first liturgical performance was in the Cathedral. So to say that the performance loses anything from not having female singers is quite frankly poppycock. The great English choral foundation was founded upon the distinctive sound of the treble voice and the counter tenor - for purity and for tone. This is not to say of course that this is not achieved by female altos and sopranos - because it can be and is - but only that Tudor music is not about rich and fruity, over dramatic voices. In the context of the liturgy, the mass is certainly about high emotion - sure - but in the context of the time and style in which it was written, it is also about restraint. (See also Howell's mass in the dorian mode) This is the fine line a choir has to tread in performing this music and that is what makes this recording good (although not the best). It is certainly not "dull" or "lifeless." Diction, clarity of tone, ensemble and accuracy. What more could one want. Well, the new Westminster Cathedral recording would be a good investment! As for the Finzi and Bax - Check out the Finzi singers on Chandos.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The FINEST recording available of the Mass in G Minor 20 Oct 2012
By family-style - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I purchased this recording (multiple times) specifically for the Mass. I first fell in love with this Mass when I was a teenager in high school and so, have had ample opportunity to listen to the various performances of this work through the years... yes, even back in the days of vinyl. I still have some vinyls of this and, if I were to have my pick, would wish for the King's College/David Willcocks version as it was produced on the vinyl (with that selection of accompanying pieces). I would not have chosen the Finzi/Bax works for this cd (although the performances are fine). Still, if the reason for the purchase of this cd is to have the finest recorded performance of the Mass in g minor at your listening disposal, this is the recording to pick up.

I strongly disagree with one of the other reviewers of this work. This Mass was meant to be sung by a boy's choir. The boys' treble sound gives it an ethereal quality that is both restrained and prayerful, pure and almost angelic. A mixed choir can certainly perform the work but the soprano, in particular, should be performed "sans vibrato" (or at least, greatly restraining the vibrato). Otherwise, it can be a rather jarring sound amidst the purity of the work (the Corydon/Best version has this problem as does the Hickox).

Another issue I have with other recordings deals with the tempo taken on the opening lines of the Sanctus, primarily. Many performances race through those measures (and to a lesser degree, others) as if one were trying to get through early lines of the movement and get to "the good part". By contrast, the Willcocks performance gives the sense of a sound coming from heaven, timeless and serene. No rush, yet not labored. David Willcocks and King's College have "captured" the mood of the liturgical moment and, in my opinion, have produced (by far!) the richest interpretation of Vaughan Williams' greatest a capella choral achievement. This is the finest performance of Vaughan Williams finest a capella work... at least of those available for public purchase. I highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars truck noises 17 Feb 2012
By Scott A. Z. Heinekamp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is not about the quality of the singing or performance, it's just to note that there are audible truck noises on the recording, which was done in the chapel of trinity college. That's a shame.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Intentions, Bad Executions 7 Dec 2002
By kris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It would appear that i have been duped. I bought this album for the exquisite and tender Mass in Gm, quite possibly the most emotional mass next to Bach's mass in Bm. From the breathy alto entrance of the Kyrie to the final invocation of Amen at the end of the Agnus Dei it is a rollercoaster ride through devotion. Sadly this recording of it is dull, lifeless and faulted in it's pompous belief that an English choir needs little more than to sing it. In truth it is one of the most difficult pieces of music i have ever performed and my expectations were set high. I was also saddened by the lack of adult FEMALE voices, the trebles could not dare to come close to the deep, powerful sound of the altos nor the bright, angelic sopranos. This CD isn't all bad though, the performances of 6 works by Finzi and Bax were extrordinary, i just wish that they could have brought that out in the Mass in Gm. I recommend the Corydon Singers if you are looking for a copy of the Mass.
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