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Benjamin Britten: The Sacred Choral Music

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Benjamin Britten: The Sacred Choral Music + Mozart: Vesperae De Dominica [Edward Higginbottom] [Novum: NCR1388] + Illumina - Music of Light
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Product details

  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (2 Jan 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Novum
  • ASIN: B00AKJ3Q5C
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,946 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.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27Oxford New College Choir11:01Album Only
Listen  2. A Wedding Anthem, Op. 46Oxford New College Choir 8:43Album Only
Listen  3. The Company of Heaven, Part III: Whoso Dwelleth Under the Defence of the Most HighOxford New College Choir 4:03£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Te Deum in C majorOxford New College Choir 7:56£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Jubilate Deo in E flat majorOxford New College Choir 2:53£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Hymn to St. Peter, Op. 56aOxford New College Choir 5:15£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: ProcessionOxford New College Choir 1:30£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Wolcum yole!Oxford New College Choir 1:35£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: There is no roseOxford New College Choir 2:26£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: That yonge childOxford New College Choir 1:39£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: BalulalowOxford New College Choir 1:21£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: As dew in AprilleOxford New College Choir 1:03£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: This little BabeOxford New College Choir 1:31£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: InterludeOxford New College Choir 3:54£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen15. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: In freezing winter nightOxford New College Choir 3:23£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen16. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Spring CarolOxford New College Choir 1:12£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen17. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Deo Gracias!Oxford New College Choir 1:26£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen18. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: RecessionOxford New College Choir 1:42£0.59  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Rejoice in God, o ye TonguesOxford New College Choir 4:14£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For I will consider my Cat JeoffryOxford New College Choir 5:19£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30: For I am under the same accusationOxford New College Choir 8:01Album Only
Listen  4. Festival Te Deum, Op. 32Oxford New College Choir 6:01£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Venite exultemus DominoOxford New College Choir 4:39£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Jubilate DeoOxford New College Choir 2:37£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. A Hymn to the VirginOxford New College Choir 3:15£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Missa brevis, Op. 63: KyrieOxford New College Choir 1:21£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Missa brevis, Op. 63: GloriaOxford New College Choir 2:52£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Missa brevis, Op. 63: Sanctus - BenedictusOxford New College Choir 2:50£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Missa brevis, Op. 63: Agnus DeiOxford New College Choir 2:16£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. A Hymn of St. ColumbaOxford New College Choir 2:08£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. A.M.D.G.: No. 1. Prayer IOxford New College Choir 2:05£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. A.M.D.G.: No. 4. Prayer IIOxford New College Choir 3:51£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Antiphon, Op. 56bOxford New College Choir 6:03£0.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description


Britten's sacred music is among the most engaging and original music of its kind composed in the middle years of the 20th century. New College Choir was among the first to recognise its quality, and continues to sing it with passion and panache. This newly recorded anthology is released by New College Choir to mark the centenary of Britten's birth. The 2 CD set offers an overarching view of his work in this domain, featuring favourites such as Rejoice in the Lamb and the Hymn to St Cecilia alongside settings more rarely heard, the Hymns to St Peter and of St Columba, and the wedding anthem Amo ergo sum. Overall, it offers a definitive panorama of Britten's sacred music from the 1930s to the 1960s in exemplary performances by one of the world's leading choirs.


How far Britten's religious music reflects his spirituality is open to question. A note in this excellent two-disc set is titled: "Britten: The Uncommitted Anglican". Whatever his belief, he wrote much for the liturgy from 1930 to 1962 and was good at it, often making ingenious use of treble voices. The Choir of New College, Oxford has a long association with this ever varied repertoire. They give fresh, confident readings steered with firm authority by director Edward Higginbottom of A Ceremony of Carols, Rejoice in the Lamb, Missa Brevis and shorter works. The Hymn to St Cecilia, to words of Auden, has particular joy and verve. --Observer, 24/02/13

The two outstanding features are the high quality of the choral singing and the fairly relaxed pace throughtout. --Gramophone, May'13

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Biazeck on 28 Feb 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is an auspicious and welcome addition to recordings of Benjamin Britten's choral works. All his most well known and popular church music is here in a double platter of choral delights - Rejoice in the Lamb, A Ceremony of Carols, Te Deum and Jubilate in C, A Hymn to the Virgin, Missa Brevis in D, and Hymn to Saint Cecilia alongside less well known (to some!) but equally engaging and brilliant anthems such as Hymn to St. Peter, A Hymn of Saint Columba and Antiphon. Such a feast highlights Britten's exceptional skill at setting text in a manner which is utterly original and yet seems so right; simple ideas developed with unerring technique and dazzling invention.

A new recording of the glorious Wedding Anthem with its joyous peals of 'Ave Maria!' is most welcome. It is an extensive, although occasional piece requiring virtuoso Soprano and Tenor soloists, choir and organ - practically a mini cantata. Unaccompanied works in Britten's output are fewer in number than those for choir and organ, so the inclusion of Two Prayers from the early A.M.D.G. (1939) cycle seems apt. Personally I could have done without the rather slight, Whoso Dwelleth Under the Defence of the Most High and the uncharacteristically underdeveloped Venite (both posthumous publications) in favour of his brilliant setting of Deus in adjutorium meum (SATB unaccompanied) from the incidental music to Ronald Duncan's This Way to the Tomb (1945). I find it difficult to understand how the latter motet could be excluded from such a comprehensive survey of Britten's church music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Blair QC on 15 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An excellent contribution to the Britten centenary. Well done New College and Edward Higginbottom for the purity of the harmony
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CCFarrar on 12 Mar 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Unfortunately both CDs downloaded as one, so instead of being tracks 1-18, followed by 1-15, it's 1.1., 2.2., 3.3... which splits up pieces with more than one track. But the music and performances are wonderful
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
New College celebrates Britten choral legacy 3 July 2013
By musichathcharms - Published on
Format: Audio CD
New College Oxford singers present this collection of Benjamin Britten's sacred choral compositions in a two-cd set recorded in 2011-12. Three decades of work spanning poetry, praise, wedding celebration, mass, and concerts are performed by treble students and professionals with a long affiliation for this music under the direction of Sir Edward Higginbottom, a legend in his field. The standard expected for Britten's music and New College is unequivocally maintained throughout.

While Britten's twentieth-century music may give an impression of dissonance to the new listener, it is unmistakably joyous and uplifting. Once enraptured, the audience returns again and again to glean more intricacy and meaning from this giant of the musical world. Treble voices from the Boy's Choir create an airy, ethereal vocal line characteristic of New College Oxford. The men's voices in other ranges increase the richness of the texture throughout. Accompaniment by three organists and harpist Emma Granger leaves the hearer hoping for solo performances by any/ all of them.

Track titles are appropriately listed for ease of following the playlist, a thoughtful and thorough touch to aid the listener, adding to the appreciation of the works. The helpful booklet, written by the director, describes this collection of wide-ranging choral gems. While a fine reference, the text would be more easily read in a larger font.

Teachers, choral directors, fans of choral music, and church leaders will find this album a useful resource for classes, colleges, and choirs to add variety and skill to their study and experience.
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