Orchestral Anthems

Orchestral Anthems

DCD34291 (Delphian Records, CD)

24-bit stereo
FIRST RELEASE (23 June 2023)

Playing time: 55'08"
Tracks: 9
Booklet pages: 24
℗ 2023 Delphian Records Ltd
© 2023 Delphian Records Ltd
Main country of recording: United Kingdom
Country of manufacture: European Union
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Orchestral Anthems published on 6 July 2023

Áine Smith, soprano (tracks 1 and 8)
Ruairi Bowen, tenor (tracks 6 and 8)
William Thomas, bass (tracks 1 and 8)
Girl Choristers of Merton College, Oxford (tracks 3 and 4)
Choir of Merton College, Oxford
Britten Sinfonia
Benjamin Nicholas, conductor

Edward Bairstow (1874-1946):

1 Blessed city, heavenly Salem

Edward Elgar (1857-1934):

2 Ecce sacerdos magnus

George Dyson (1883-1964) orchestrated by Douglas Hopkins (1902–1992):

Evening Service in D (first recordings in this orchestral arrangement)
3 Magnificat
4 Nunc dimittis

Herbert Howells (1892-1983):

5 Behold, O God our defender

Henry Purcell (1659-1695) orchestrated by Edward Elgar:

6 Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) orchestrated by Arnold Foster (c1898-1963):

7 Te Deum in G

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956):

8 Lo, the full, final sacrifice

Edward Elgar:

9 The Spirit of the Lord

For the Choir of Merton College, Oxford's first collaboration with Britten Sinfonia, Benjamin Nicholas has brought together a collection of sacred works from the first half of the twentieth century. A little-known fact is that these stalwarts of the English repertory were either originally intended to be heard with orchestra, or subsequently orchestrated by their composer or a close colleague. Written for enthronements, coronations and the nation's grandest choral festivals, these national 'standards' are here brought back to life in Delphian's largest recording to-date, their orchestral accompaniments affording them the richness, pomp and majesty associated with that epoch.

Recorded 1-2 July 2022 in All Hallows', Gospel Oak, London UK.