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A Song of Farewell: Music of Mourning & Consolation CD


Price: £12.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

A Song of Farewell: Music of Mourning & Consolation + A New Venetian Coronation, 1595 (Gramophone Award Winner 2013 - Early Music Catagory)
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Product details

  • Conductor: Paul McCreesh
  • Composer: Walton, White, MacMillan, Sheppard, Dove, et al.
  • Audio CD (5 Mar 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Signum Classics
  • ASIN: B00767CLD4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,271 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Drop, Drop, Slow Tears
2. A Litany: Drop, Drop, Slow Tears
3. Christe, Qui Lux Es Et Dies
4. A Child's Prayer
5. In Manus Tuas (I)
6. Into Thy Hands
7. Funeral Sentences
8. They Are at Rest
9. Requiem
10. Lord, Let Me Know Mine End

Product Description

Review

Gorgeously melancholic British funeral music for unaccompanied choir, ranging from Sheppard and Morley to Elgar. For me, the highlight is Herbert Howells's Requiem, grief seeping from every cadance. It's beautifully sung by Paul McCreesh's Gabrieli Consort in an acoustic that sounds aptly like a tomb but is, in fact, Ely Cathedral. --Richard Morrison, The Times, March 17 2012

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Midgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Mar 2012
Format: Audio CD
Music can have an extraordinary power of comfort at times of grief and loss, in a way that is hard to match through the spoken or written word. This beautiful collection from Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort offers an exceptional demonstration of that quality. It's a mixture of choral works from renaissance and more recent times - more of the latter than the former, in fact - written, as the disc's subtitle indicates, for mourning and consolation. In some cases an older piece is paired with a modern work on a related text or theme. So, for example, the wonderful opening "Drop, drop, slow tears" by Orlando Gibbons is followed by William Walton's piece to the same text; and, later on, John Sheppard's equally moving "In manus tuas" is paired with Jonathan Dove's "Into thy hands". Here and elsewhere on the disc, the sequence and the seamless juxtaposition of pieces from different periods work most beautifully.

The most substantial work on the disc is Herbert Howells' Requiem. Here and throughout the programme, the Gabrieli Consort's choral tone is superbly balanced and the singing is heartfelt, delicate, sensitively phrased - clearly every word and its meaning matter to these singers. Although I tend to listen mostly to renaissance and baroque music, and so felt a particular affinity with those earlier works in the programme, I also found James MacMillan's "A Child's Prayer" especially moving. This was written to commemorate the Dunblane massacre in 1996, when sixteen Scottish primary school children and their teacher were killed by a gunman; and in the childlike conception of its music and text it strongly reminded me of a poem written by a young friend in response to that terrible event (" ..... I can still see me, down there on the floor, / But I don't belong to me anymore.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By 8150daniel on 12 Mar 2012
Format: MP3 Download
Simply stunning. That pretty much says it all - rarely do you come across a disc full of warmth, magic and beauty. Recorded in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral with its resonant acoustic, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort have come up with a real treat for the ear. The centre piece of the album is the Requiem by Herbert Howells which is by far the most moving performance of this work that I have heard. It is a beautiful interpretation of an extremely deep and powerful work. Also featured are two settings of 'Drop, Drop, Slow Tears' by Orlando Gibbons and William Walton. Songs of Farewell is a collection of wonderful music by composers from Gibbons to Dove, all of whom have something in common - the ability to craft music for mourning and consolation with such emotion and conviction. Rarely does an album capture the emotion of such music leaving the listener having witnessed something of an experience. Enjoy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 8150daniel on 12 Mar 2012
Format: Audio CD
Simply stunning. That pretty much says it all - rarely do you come across a disc full of warmth, magic and beauty. Recorded in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral with its resonant acoustic, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort have come up with a real treat for the ear. The centre piece of the album is the Requiem by Herbert Howells which is by far the most moving performance of this work that I have heard. It is a beautiful interpretation of an extremely deep and powerful work. Also featured are two settings of 'Drop, Drop, Slow Tears' by Orlando Gibbons and William Walton. Songs of Farewell is a collection of wonderful music by composers from Gibbons to Dove, all of whom have something in common - the ability to craft music for mourning and consolation with such emotion and conviction. Rarely does an album capture the emotion of such music leaving the listener having witnessed something of an experience. Enjoy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Olly Lewis on 8 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
Purchased on the strength of McCreesh's recent Grande Messe, even though the repertoire on this new disc would not normally attract me. As with the Berlioz, this is superbly well recorded. I find many a cappella recordings unlistenable - some producers seem to place the choir at the opposite end of the chapel to the microphones and even then add gallons of reverb. But this recording sounds natural. There is space, but it is still intimate, suiting the personal nature of the music. Very much wish that the Winged Lion label would release SACD.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William Burn VINE VOICE on 2 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
I don't know about you, but what with all these 'Farewell' discs being released recently (Hubert Parry: Songs of Farewell), it's a wonder there's anyone left to turn the lights out. I really quite like the Tenebrae disc, and I do like a lot of the tracks on this album, but it's up against some stiff competition if Paul McCreesh wants to prise the cash out of my wallet. There's a new disc of Howells' music, with the Requiem as its centrepiece out Howells: Requiem (Hyperion: CDA67914) this month, so it's interesting to compare the two.

What's interesting is to start with the similarities: both Requiems were recorded in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral, which offers a lovely acoustic; secondly, both are choirs of mixed voices, not boys and men; lastly, the conductors are real superstar material, with lots of impressive names on their CV's. Leighton's choir is relatively large at 40 singers (by my count), whereas the Gabrieli Consort is much smaller; hence, the Trinity choir always seem to be singing within themselves, like driving a car with a big engine at low speed - there's a sense of deliberately keeping the revs low. That said, the Gabrieli Consort never really let rip, either - perhaps they're a little too close-miked. The reverberant acoustic allows for all sorts of lovely legato effects, really milking Howells' juicy harmonies, but I feel like this comes at the cost of singers really singing.
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