Review: The Arts Desk
ON Iberian Colours (Maria Camahort Quintet)
15th August 2015
Catalan composer Federico Mompou is one of classical music’s best-kept secrets – if you’ve not sampled his restrained, elegant piano output, you should snap up Arcadi Volodos’s brilliant Sony anthology. Guitarist Maria Camahort presents us with three short Mompou pieces, in arrangements which expand the originals’ scope without diluting their essence. The Catalan popular songs which Mompou transcribed are now sung. There’s some loss of intimacy but you imagine that the composer would have approved.
Review: Cross Rhythms 7/10
Stanford: Sacred Choral Music (Malcolm Archer, Jamal Sutton, Winchester College Chapel Choir)
1st October 2014
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) was a prolific and popular composer within the Anglican choral tradition and the chances are that if you have any sort of collection of sacred choral music or traditional hymn singing you will already have some of Stanford’s work. This pleasant collection includes some of Stanford’s best-known choral music alongside a number of works that are rarely performed and recorded. It has been supported by the Stanford Society and the programme notes have been compiled by Professor Jeremy Dibble, a leading authority on the composer’s music. Winchester College Quiristers (trebles) have for over 625 years sung services in Winchester College Chapel. In modern times they have formed a choir (Winchester College Chapel Choir) renowned for its excellence, under the direction of Malcolm Archer. On three occasions since the Millennium, Quiristers have won the title of BBC Young Chorister Of The Year, by any standards an outstanding record. The choir stand comparison with any cathedral choir and those who appreciate traditional (code for all male) Anglican choral music will enjoy this release. I particularly enjoyed “Watts’ Cradle Song” and the setting of “Psalm 150” but there are better tunes for “Oh! For A Closer Walk With God” and “The Lord Is My Shepherd” available. The “Benedictus In C” and “Te Deum In C” are both of their time (late Victorian/Edwardian) but that is of course inevitable when presenting a retrospective collection such as this. As I have said, if you enjoy traditional church choral music or are an admirer of C V Stanford you will enjoy this very much but those listening for general interest may find it too much of a muchness.