In July/August 2020 ARG raised its thumb skyward for Matthew Coleridge’s Requiem. Robert Delcamp applauded the work’s gentle nature, describing it as “tonal, melodic, quiet, reflective, with lush, warm, even hypnotic writing”. He went on to place the 2015 work, with its radiant writing for solo cello, as in the Fauré-Duruflé tradition of Requiems offering comfort and warmth while going easy on the hellish drama of Verdi, Berlioz, et al. I would say that my colleague called it right when he concluded that this Requiem is a lovely piece worth getting to know. I’m also going to guess that the present recording will supply more convincing advocacy for it than the earlier account because of the complement of strings that’s been added to the organ, percussion, and cello. Double basses amplify the heartbeat of the Introit, there’s more oomph to the accents in the Kyrie, and so on. I do not know that earlier version; but I’m guessing that if you want the Coleridge Requiem presented to its best advantage, this would be the place to come.
You’d also get seven other works that were not included on that 2020 release, which was just 30 minutes long. The additional pieces are also quite lovely, though 5 of the 7 echo the tone of the Requiem, which means 25 more minutes of hushed, placid, ethereal fare. The `Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis’ kick up a bit of a rumpus at the very end, but you might find yourself over-elegized by the time you get there. The booklet is informative and complete in all matters.