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Acclaim for choir CD

Winchester Cathedral Choir’s latest CD has received high acclaim since it was released at the end of March.

The recording, entitled ‘Angels’, is a collection of Sir John Tavener’s choral works performed by Winchester Cathedral Choir, including the boy and girl choristers with the lay clerks, and conducted by Andrew Lumsden. The selection of music is both a capella and accompanied by George Castle on the Organ.

‘Angels’ has recently been selected as one of the best twelve recordings for May by the editor of ‘Gramophone’ magazine, the world’s authority on classical music since 1923. In the ‘Gramophone’ review, Ian Moody writes: “This is a showroom demonstration of just what boy and girl choristers singing together can achieve.”

Sir John Tavener (1944- 2013) was, for a number of decades, one of the figureheads of contemporary choral music, with a unique style heavily influenced by Greek Orthodox chant, ranging from the eerily haunting to the highly celebratory. He wrote many choral works for Winchester Cathedral and its choir over a period of forty years and he has a special connection with the building. Sir John’s funeral took place there and, more recently, a memorial was dedicated to his life and music.

“Tavener loved Winchester Cathedral,” says Martin Neary, formerly Master of the Music at Winchester Cathedral, who wrote the programme notes for the recording. “It is fair to say that it became one of his spiritual homes, as this recording triumphantly shows, the Cathedral and its choir under Andrew are clearly ideal for his music.”

Andrew Lumsden, Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral, says: “John Tavener’s music has a simplicity yet also an ethereal beauty about it that really suits the Cathedral’s acoustic. Whenever we perform a piece of John’s, it unfailingly touches people’s emotions and they tell me how moved they have been.”

As well as being on general release, the Angels CD is available priced £12.75 from the Cathedral Gift Shop and online at www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/shop

Photo © Jim Pascoe

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