This recording represents Fauré’s music-loved Requiem in an arrangement for string quintet and organ by Michael Higgins. The vocal score associated with this arrangement, published by the RSCM, is reviewed in the current edition of Sunday by Sunday (no.70). Choirs that want to give a performance with the accompaniment played on more than organ alone, but can muster only a small number of string players, will surely welcome this arrangement.
Following the Requiem, the remainder of the CD features more French choral music: a charming a capella Ave Verum Corpus by Saint-Seans (sung with fine control by the Convivium Singers), de Severac’s exquisite Tantum Ergo, a setting of the same text by Fauré (arr. Higgins), Ave Verum Corpus by Fauré (arr. Higgins) and the Cantique de Jean Racine. This accompaniment of the last piece is also arranged by Michael Higgins for String Quintet.
The Convivium Singers give good accounts of the pieces, and worthy of special mention are Johnny Herford’s baritone solos in the Requiem.