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Directed by Louis Halsey
Hurray for the British Music Society! I say that with unabashed partisanship. Over many years their promotion and support of British music has been without equal and because of their sterling efforts it is possible to hear and study music of real quality that might otherwise be overlooked. A perfect example of that is this disc of Choral Music by John Joubert. It is my strong belief that Joubert's music is still grossly undervalued. I think he has the dubious honour of being one of the most under-appreciated of living British composers. One of the great delights of the reanimation of the Lyrita label was the discovery of Joubert's 1st Symphony and that combination of melodic flair, tonal beauty and formal control is much in evidence in his choral writing too. The more I listen to this disc the more individual his voice becomes - for any collector interested in British 20th century choral writing this is obligatory listening. This is a reissue of a recording originally made in 1975 - the BMS have labelled it "historic" which it is purely in a documentary sense - the quality of performance and recording is first rate.The value of this disc is much enhanced by the presence of an autobiographical note by the composer (updated in 2006) as well as his own descriptions of the chosen works. The music divides fairly evenly into works for unaccompanied choir and those accompanied with organ. Joubert favours the straight four-part SATB which gives the music a spiritual simplicity and clarity of utterance that I find most powerful.
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The English lecturer, conductor, adjudicator, composer and arranger, Louis Halsey, studied music at Cambridge, where he sang in the celebrated King's College Choir, before embarking on a music career which has taken him all over the world conducting, lecturing, examining and adjudicating. Here are a collection of folk songs from each of the four countries in the United Kingdom.
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