This is another disc I ordered for my wife, who was about to sing Paul Patterson's Magnificat with her local choir.
I have admitted elsewhere to my lack of real enthusiasm for much modern choral music, finding it often rather twee, but it would be churlish not to admit that there is some splendid music here and that all of it is very enjoyable.
The piece by Patterson, which opens the disc, is in my opinion the most effective piece here. Commissioned by the Bach Choir (the performers here) and first performed in 1994, it is, like the other works on the CD, scored for organ, percussion and brass (the redoubtable Wallace Collection, whose playing is perhaps the highlight of the disc). A joyous and exuberant work, full of brass fanfares and jazzy rhythms, it was written for forces reckoned to be within the reach of most amateur choirs, but my wife assures me that it is nevertheless far from straightforward, but which is, however, a delight to sing.
Another substantial work on the disc is Rutter's Gloria; his ear for a good tune and exciting scoring are well to the fore.
"Sing Praises" by Jonathan Willcocks was commissioned to celebrate the 75th birthday of his father, Sir David Willcocks, the conductor of the Bach Choir at the time and, indeed, on these recordings, which were made in 1998. The remainder of the disc is taken up with two short works by Sir David himself; the first of these, "Rejoice", which incorporates the Lutheran hymn, "Ein' feste Burg" was written in 1995 as part of national celebrations for the 50th anniversary of World War II.
This disc will not be to everyone's taste (it's not entirely to mine), but casting musical snobbery and partiality aside, this is effective and by turns exhilarating and moving music which demands respect. This is a CD which will, I am sure, give pleasure to many and deserves to be sought out.
- Original Release Date: 13 Dec. 1998
- Release Date: 13 Dec. 1998
- Label: Priory Records
- Copyright: (C) 1998 Priory Records
- Total Length: 1:09:01
- ASIN: B002BOT6QM
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,059 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)