“There can be nothing but praise for the excellence of these performances, for the quality and choice of the music itself and, most of all, for the gorgeous sound quality of these recordings made in Ely Cathedral. Add to this some eminently readable booklet–notes and we have a real winner, even if the overall aural effect bears a striking resemblance to those ubiquitous inoffensive compilation discs played in hotel lobbies the world over. Within the basic theme of death and the soul's subsequent journey to paradise the music juxtaposes chunks of plainsong and standard cathedral choir repertoire with some rather more esoteric choral pieces. Whether it's the ancient plainchant In paradisum, Psalm 121 sung to Walford Davies's fine Anglican chant, William Harris's richly textured anthem Faire is theHeaven or the almost erotically indulgent arrangement by Timothy Brown of Steal Away, Clare College Choir distinguish it all with finely crafted and beautifully shaped performances that aren't just note–perfect but intensely perceptive as well. There's no hint of the sickliness we sometimes experience when church music is exposed to such slick professionalism on disc – rather a real sense of wonder and awe at the timeless beauty of the programme. It's difficult to listen to the disc in its entirety without falling into some kind of soporific trance, but taken individually each piece is, in its own way, as dramatic and earth–shaking as the garish blue cover leads us to suspect.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.