RECORDINGS

LABEL: CONTOUR RECORDS / CHANDOS
CATALOG NUMBER: 2870 351
UPC NUMBER: 000000004602
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: UNKNOWN
YEAR RECORDED: 1973
CD RELEASE DATE: 1973
CONDUCTOR: BARRY ROSE
ORGAN: ANTHONY FROGATT
CHOIR: THE CHOIR OF GUILDFORD CATHEDRAL
SOPRANO: VALERIE MASTERSON
CONTRALTO: GILLIAN KNIGHT
TENOR: ANTHONY JOHNSON
BASS: JOHN BARROW


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DISC ONE

1.   Air: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
2.   Chorus: And the glory of the Lord        
3.   Air: O Thou that tellest
4.   Air: The people that walked
5.   Air: He was despised
6.   Chorus: Lift up your heads        
7.   Chorus: Hallelujah        
8.   Air: Rejoice greatly
9.   Air: But thou didst not leave
10.   Air: I know that my Redeemer liveth
11.   Air: The trumpet shall should
12.   Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb        
13.   Chorus: Amen

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  This 1973 recording by the Guildford Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Barry Rose, is typical of it's era - with slow, stately tempos and spare accompaniment (ably provided by organist Anthony Frogatt).  Surprising to me was the choral sound of Guildford at this time - sporting much more vibrato than is typical of boy choirs today, although they are clearly well-trained and blended, their sound suffers a bit by contrasting timbres, as well as being poorly served by the flat recording ambiance accorded to them.  Rose's tempos are, without exception, deliberate and stately - robbing much of the vitality from the performances, while imbuing them with a heavily mannered attitude.   Among the soloists - only soprano Valerie Masterson and tenor Anthony Johnson impressed me, with Masterson's light, cheerful tone and precise melismas lifting "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth", while Johnson's beautifully phrased lines perfectly attuned to his airs.  Conversely, contralto Gillian Knight and bass John Barrow's deep, chesty tones sound swallowed and dark.  The brevity of the LP program, added to the dim, muted sound and dated performances, give this recording limited appeal, although admirers of the classic boy-choir sound will want to seek this out.


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