The gem on this disc is the Howells Requiem, written under the shadow of personal tragedy in 1936, but never performed in its original form until 1980. It doesn't follow the "standard" form, employing the texts of two Psalms (23 and 121) each of which is followed by a "Requiem aeternam." The Psalms are beautifully set, and the singing here, both choral and solo, is excellent. The music is very rarely loud, and that's just as well, because as recorded, the sopranos tend to sound a bit glassy and edgy in the loud high passages, and this is cause for some discomfort in "Take him, earth, for cherishing," Howell's lovely motet for the assassinated President Kennedy. The Vaughan Williams items are well done, with the caveat about the sopranos, but his settings seem less expressively interesting than Howells's, though they strike an unpretentious devotional note that is very appealing. I own the original Hyperion issue, and one wonders if this more recent Helios re-issue has been remastered. If it has, and if the sopranos sound better, then five stars might be in order. Either way, the Howells Requiem is superbly done.