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Edmund Rubbra: Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A flat major, Op. 65
II. Nunc dimittis
Edmund Rubbra: Missa in honorem Sancti Dominici, Op. 66, "St. Dominic Mass"
Edmund Rubbra: Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of Cyril Scott, Op. 69 (arr. for organ)
Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of Cyril Scott, Op. 69 (organ arr.)
Edmund Rubbra: Tenebrae Motets, Op. 72: First Nocturn
I. In monte Oliveti
II. Tristis est anima mea
III. Ecce vidimus eum
Edmund Rubbra: Tenebrae Motets, Op. 72: Second Nocturn
I. Amicus meus
II. Judas mercator pessimus
III. Unus ex discipulis
Edmund Rubbra: Tenebrae Motets, Op. 72: Third Nocturn
I. Eram quasi agnus innocens
II. Una hora non potuistis
III. Seniores populi
Edmund Rubbra: Meditation for Organ, Op. 79
Meditation for Organ, Op. 79
Edmund Rubbra: Missa Cantuariensis, Op. 59, "Canterbury Mass"
Gloria in excelsis
“Christopher Robinson and his St John's College Choir prove especially eloquent, humane advocates of the eight-part Missa Cantuariensis. We've long needed a top-notch digital recording of this, the first of Rubbra's five Mass settings. Robinson and company rise to the challenge admirably, not least in the exuberant concluding Gloria with its lung-burstingly high tessitura. We also get a thoroughly idiomatic rendering of the taut and imposing Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in A flat that Rubbra wrote two years later. In the glorious Missa in honorem Sancti Dominici from 1949 (inspired by Rubbra's own conversion to Roman Catholicism the previous year, on the feast day of St Dominic) our Cambridge group doesn't quite match the sumptuous blend, miraculous unanimity or spine-tingling fervour displayed by James O'Donnell's Westminster Cathedral Choir (to quote the composer: '…this is not austere music…red blood runs through its veins!'). On the other hand, these newcomers sound wholly captivated by the nine motets that make up the remarkable Op-72 Tenebrae. Boasting an infinitely subtle harmonic and contrapuntal resource, these timeless, wonderfully compassionate settings of the responsories used during Matins on Maundy Thursday show Rubbra very much at the height of his powers, encompassing an extraordinarily wide dramatic and expressive range. Robinson also gives us two instrumental bonuses in the rapt Meditation for organ, Op 79, and Bernard Rose's transcription of the more substantial Prelude and Fugue on aTheme of Cyril Scott (originally written for piano in 1950 to celebrate Scott's 70th birthday). Throw in Naxos's praiseworthy production, and you've a bargain of the first order.”
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