Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-1994) was an accomplished and versatile musician, whose works included orchestral music, songs and choral music. I greatly enjoyed two of her songs, which were part of the album “In Praise of Woman” and which I reviewed recently for Amazon. They are both well known: “Have you seen but a bright lily grow?”, with words by Ben Jonson; and “Meditation for his Mistress”, from one of Robert Herrick’s poems. Regrettably I found it too difficult to make the transition from those art songs to most of the choral selections on this album, written between 1931 and 1989. I do not fault the BBC Singers or the conducting of Odaline de la Martinez. They managed what were to me dramatic changes in mood and style and some very awkward phrasing between and also within the 26 tracks in a remarkable, even acrobatic fashion. The problems I had are not with choral works versus art songs ‘per se’: for example, I love the Finzi and the Purcell Singers as well as the Kings College and Westminster Abbey Choirs, whose works are often magical and at times create that familiar ‘frisson’. It comes down, I suppose, to style and technique. Put simply, the collection contains too much that is noisy, dissonant and at times repetitive and overbearing. I’m also not a big fan of musical gymnastics. The first seven tracks, about animals, and the following trio “Come/Will you come/To the night” I really did not like. I did enjoy “The Ribbon in her Hair”, “The Voice of the City”, and (especially) “The Armado”, which had rhythm and structure that appealed to me. By coincidence, these three were the only ones accompanied by piano (Richard Pearce). The remaining works were a mixed bag, which I enjoyed only in parts, including the apparently prestigious “Still Falls the Rain”. So I give the album three stars rather than two because of the few tracks I enjoyed and the bits and pieces of others (e.g. “Prayer before birth”, “For Snow” and “Siren’s Song”). Otherwise, unfortunately it was not for me!