Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Rose tinted headphones?
on 20 July 2007
I recently bought this CD from Amazon, encouraged by other reviews, both here and elsewhere. Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed by what I then listened to. The main difficulty I had in listening was in the chorus, who lack any sort of excitement or apparent interest in the music. The boy choristers are mostly breathy and pathetic, with a couple of strident voices that cut through the texture. Tempi are slow as the boys struggle with the passagework, punctuating each semiquaver with an audible 'h'. The quality of boys' choral technique has improved greatly in the last few decades, and this is very much a product of its time. Soloists are, on the whole, accomplished (though why there was a need to split the soprano role in two I don't understand), though the bass soloist is wayward in tone and tuning (in 'The People that Walked in Darkness' many notes are not hit correctly first time, or even second). The mezzo soloist strikes an interesting balance between counter-tenor tone and female range and power which is surprisingly effective.
Unfortunately my listening experience was totally let down by the choruses, which left me bored and underwhelmed. We now expect better, and rightly so. I'm on the look out for a better account of this great piece.