Treasures of Christ Church is a newly recorded, special collection of 500 years of English choral music sung from original manuscripts, uncovering the unique history of music at Christ Church from Tallis, Taverner, Handel, Purcell and Byrd through to world premieres from Rutter and Goodall.
All of the composers on Treasures had an association with Christ Church (whose hallowed halls were famously seen in the Harry Potter films), stretching back to the tenure of John Taverner, through Tallis, Handel, Purcell and Byrd to present day world premiere recordings of works by John Rutter and Howard Goodall.
The history: John Taverner, the most outstanding English composer of his time, was appointed Informator Choristarum of Cardinal College, Oxford in 1526, with the brief of establishing the foremost choral institution in the country. He succeeded magnificently and the tradition continues to this day at what is now known as Christ Church, Oxford. The Choir maintains a special and distinctive place within the great English choral tradition, with an unbroken, continuous tradition of glorious music-making for over five hundred years. Today the choir is renowned for its vibrant sound and artistic versatility, qualities that have been praised throughout the world. Packaging will feature striking visuals with photographs of original manuscripts on pristinely preserved parchment and leather-bound, gold-embossed scores. The promotional video will take viewers through the unrivalled archives and include interviews with Stephen Darlington and the composers.
“The unison singing of the exposed sections in the Howells is particularly notable, impressively unanimous in its nuanced expressivity...Overall, this is a splendidly recorded and packaged snapshot of a great choral institution, still going as strongly as ever.”
“The boys' voices are rich and powerful in Taverner's Christe Jesu: they know an expressive line when they see one. Their heartbreaking simplicity in the seasonal Bethlehem Down shows they understand how to work the crowd at a carol service.”
“The lower adult voices have as much dynamic strength and colour as the trebles, resulting in satisfying polyphonic textures in the early music and sonorous chordal harmonies in the more recent compositions...A very enjoyable CD, thanks to the rewarding choice of music and the magnificent performances of all the singers and instrumentalists; a recording to treasure.”
15th January 2012
“A varied recital, beautifully sung by one of the finest Oxbridge college choirs.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.