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Directed by Paul Spicer
Given performances as openly sincere and sensitive as these, few could remain unmoved. Bethlehem Down with its haunting, desolate air is the best-known work here but it only hints at the emotional intensity of such wonderful carols as The full heart with its exotic harmonies and complex part-writing and the ravishingly beautiful Corpus Christi. The relationship between Warlock and Moeran can be overworked: musically the connections seem largely superficial. Not for Moeran the pained utterances of a twisted soul, but in these two matchless madrigal suites there is an indefinable Englishness-the result of a deep awareness of tradition and love of the countryside. Again the innate musicality of the Finzi Singers pays handsome dividends; these warm-toned, richly expressive voices (not least Andrea Gray and Andrew Carwood, magnificent soloists in Warlock's Corpus Christi) seem to capture the very essence of this uniquely lovely music.