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Directed by Stephen Cleobury
If you enjoy this kind of music - that is, hymns rooted in the Anglican church tradition - you will find much pleasure here, whether it be meditative or openly exuberant. The Choir of King's College has been singing congregational music for centuries, and the tradition, impeccably articulated and warmly expressed by the choir, remains truly and firmly preserved to this day. John Rutter had more than a casual hand in this program. He offers new arrangements/harmonizations for verses of some hymns and the choir sings his oft-performed setting of 'Morning has broken'. And for those who think all hymns recordings are basically the same, virtually all of the best-known tunes among these 18 selections are given fresh settings, several with descants and a few with brass accompaniments. Among the not-so-common hymns are some of the most beautiful-'Dear Lord' and 'Father of mankind' (Repton), 'My song is love unknown' and a hymn-anthem by William Harris, 'O what their joy and their glory must be'. One of the highlights of the program is a relatively new work, a hymn-anthem by British conductor/composer Stephen Jackson based on the familiar text and tune 'Let all mortal flesh keep silence'. Jackson ingeniously uses choir and organ and music full of rich colors, lush dissonances, and bold strokes and clashes of melody to capture the magic and mystery of the ancient text.