Howells - Sacred Choral Music

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Howells - Sacred Choral Music


Building a Library

First Choice - November 2008



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75 minutes


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Howells - Sacred Choral Music


Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (St Paul's, 1951)

Like as the Hart



Long, Long Ago

Office of Holy Communion (Collegium Regale)

Rhapsody for Organ No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 17 No. 3

Take him, earth, for cherishing



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Herbert Howells: Magnificat and Nunc dimitis, St. Paul's


Nunc dimittis

Herbert Howells: Like as the hart

Like as the Hart

Herbert Howells: Paean for Organ

Paean for Organ

Herbert Howells: Requiem

Salvator mundi

Psalm 23

Requiem aeternam (1)

Psalm 121

Requiem aeternam (2)

I Heard a Voice from Heaven

Herbert Howells: Long, Long ago

Long, Long Ago

Herbert Howells: Office of Holy Communion





Agnus Dei

Gloria in Excelsis

Herbert Howells: Rhapsody,Op. 17, No. 3

Rhapsody No. 3 for Organ

Herbert Howells: Take him, earth, for cherishing

Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing

American Record Guide

May 2000

“The St. Johns Choir has never sounded better, and the recorded sound is glorious: clear and clean, but with great warmth and a sense of space. The finely nuanced performances are impressively controlled. This disc is a must-have for connoisseurs of English cathedral music and a great introduction to Howells for the novice.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“Howells, probably more than any other composer, extended the cathedral repertoire in the 20th century. Here his music is performed by one of the best choirs. Under Christopher Robinson, St John's has preserved its distinctive character (the bright tone of its trebles a famous part of it) and, as this record demonstrates, has gained in vigour and clarity of purpose.
Immediately notable is the choice of relatively quick speeds. Howells sometimes appears to invite a relaxed style of performance which isn't to his advantage.
St John's tempo suits the acoustic. This applies to a similar comparison with the Choir of King's College in its more reverberant chapel, singing the Communion Service dedicated to it: the more opulent sound matches the broader tempo, St John's achieving (as in the Sanctus) clearer effects within a narrower spectrum. Their discs also have in common the Rhapsody No 3 for organ, and whereas the expansive performance at King's includes a murmurous pianissimo next-thing-tosilence, the quicker, more sharply defined one at St John's has a dramatic urgency.
The choice of programme is particularly happy, with one of the lesser-known Evening Services (the 'St Paul's') and one of the best known of Howells's anthems (Like as the hart).”

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