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Compared with large-scale oratorios such as St Paul, which includes the lyrical chorus How lovely are the messengers, Mendelssohn’s smaller sacred choral works were influenced by Palestrina, ranging from short liturgical motets such as the Sechs Sprüche to the canticle settings of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis. The famous sacred melody ‘O for the wings of a dove’ is to be found in Hear my prayer. The fine choristers of St Albans Cathedral can also be heard ‘on sparkling form’ (Gramophone) in John Rutter’s Gloria (8572563).
Felix Mendelssohn: 6 Spruche, Op. 79
No. 1. Weinachten: Frohlocket, ihr Volker auf Erden, MWV B42
No. 2. Am Neujahrstage: Herr Gott, du bist unsre Zuflucht fur und fur, MWV B44
No. 3. Am Himmelfahrtstage: Erhaben, O Herr, uber alles Lob, MWV B55
No. 4. In der Passionszeit: Herr, gedenke nicht unser Ubelthaten, MWV B50
No. 5. Im Advent: Lasset uns frohlocken, MWV B54
No. 6. Am Karfreitage: Um unsrer Sunden willen, MWV B52
Felix Mendelssohn: Paulus (St. Paul), Op. 36, MWV A14 (Sung in English)
Paulus (St. Paul), Op. 36, MWV A14: How Lovely are the Messengers (Sung in English)
Felix Mendelssohn: Hear my prayer, MWV B49
Hear my prayer, MWV B49
Felix Mendelssohn: 3 Motets, Op. 39
3 Motets, Op. 39: No. 1. Veni, Domine (Hear my prayer, O Lord), MWV B24
Felix Mendelssohn: Allegro, Chorale and Fugue in D major, MWV W33
“on their showing here, St Albans Abbey Girls Choir can stand comparison with the best boys' choirs, even if their sound is slightly different...Throughout, great care has obviously been taken over words and phrasing. The purity and steadiness of the girls' voices are in themselves utterly delightful, but they do mean that any unsteadiness elsewhere stands out”
“The Three Motets for female voices and organ, Op. 39, are performed with a pleasing freshness...Best of all is the wonderful sonority of the eight-voice a cappella bookends, the Six Anthems and the setting of Psalm 43, Richte mich, Gott. And Winpenny's organ solo is of a comparable splendour.”
“The best known item here - Hear my prayer - is given a very committed performance that can stand comparison with almost any. Here and throughout the disc a listener unaware of the performers would be likely simply to assume that this is a traditional cathedral choir of boys and men...All in all this is a refreshing, enjoyable and well filled disc”
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