Outlook Issue 25 Spring 2018
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Music for Easter
We all have our ‘go to’ pieces to listen to during the Easter season. One of the great Bach Passions, perhaps, Stainer’s Crucifixion or ‘The Easter Hymn’ from Cavalleria Rusticana; but I would like to commend two recordings for meditation and inspiration this Easter. First, a compilation of choral music called Agnus Dei, Music of Inner Harmony, sung with great poise and impeccable pacing by the Choir of New College Oxford under Edward Higginbottom. Treasures include Allegri’s Miserere with its spine-tingling treble top C moments, and Tavener’s The Lamb. The music ranges from Palestrina to Gorecki, so there is much to enjoy from across the centuries, enticing you into new listening explorations. The second is a two-disc set of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, sung by The Sixteen Choir under Harry Christophers. It is, to my ears, a flawless recording. It is also an opportunity to hear this masterpiece with a chamber choir, rather than a full choral society, which results in a clarity, freshness and openness that I haven’t heard elsewhere. Here, The Sixteen Choir actually number twenty-six singers – all professionals – so there is substance as well as litheness in the vocal agility. Happy listening! Andrew Clarke Pause for thought … In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my Light, my Strength, my Song; This Cornerstone, this solid Ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my All in All, Here in the love of Christ I stand. Stuart Townend