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More Divine Than Human: Music from the Eton Choirbook, Vol. 1
The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral under their director Stephen Darlington, return to AVIE with their second release for the label. Recorded in the Chapel of Merton College, Oxford, it commemorates the 500th Anniversary of the coronation of King Henry VIII on June 24 1509 with music from the Eton Choirbook, one of the greatest jewels of choir music in the world.
The Eton Choirbook epitomises a style of composition which demanded extraordinary virtuosity from its performers: it is no surprise that an Italian visitor should have described the singing he heard in 1515 as 'more divine than human'. This recording brings to life some of the most glorious music in the collection, using the original forces of men and boys.
“Here the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford choose five 15-minute masterpieces, including John Browne’s magnificent Stabat Mater. They sing without once betraying the technical difficulties of these intricate musical jigsaws, instead giving natural, spacious, rich, expressive performances.” Sunday Times, 19th July 2009 ****
“What makes this disc entrancingly fresh is its use of boy choristers: their translucence as a choir, their colours as soloists, and their easy swing through florid passages inject lightness into the choir books dense compositions.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2009 ****
“The Eton Choirbook ranks among the most difficult music composed to be sung by children… The trebles here excel, both as soloists and, just as remarkably, when several sing together on the same line.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2009
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The Eton Choirbook Collection
Volume 1: The Rose and the Ostrich Feather, volume 2: The Crown of Thorns, volume 3: The Pillars of Eternity, volume 4: The Flower of All Virginity, volume 5: The Voices of Angels
This day day dawes
Ah, my dear, ah, my dear Son!
Afraid, alas, and why so suddenly?
Stabat iuxta Christi crucem
Jesu, mercy, how may this be?
O Maria salvatoris mater
Cornysh the elder:
Ave Maria Mater Dei
O Domine caeli terraeque creator
Ah, mine heart, remember thee well
A Blessid Jhesu
In Honore Summae Matris
Gaude Flore Virginali
Tota Pulchra es
Anna Mater Matris Christi
Ah, gentle Jesu
From stormy windes
Jesus autem transiens/Credo in Deum
5 CDs for the price of 3 - Boxed Set
"Wonderful music, wonderfully performed ... sit back and let these glorious sounds fill your ears and lift your spirits" The Gramophone
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