Album Review

Posted: Thursday 8th November 2012
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A Winter’s Light – David’s Review Corner

Without the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah and their Carol Concert, many of the UK’s choral societies would financially go out of business. So the choice of music is their annual debate in order to keep the venue full year on year, the Vasari singers, having had thirty years experience in retaining audience interest, present a programme of the familiar and less-known music that has been their winning formula. Dominated by British music, that in recent years has become the cornerstone of such concerts, there is no pretence that the group’s inherent sound will change in style as they travel back from Bob Chilcott’s recent This is the truth, to the 16th century for Giovanni Gabrieli’s 16th century Hodie Christus natus est. Yet the most fascinating sounds come from Michael Praetorius’s in 1609 with Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, while my favourite tracks include Walford Davies’s O little town of Bethlehem, Harold Darke’s In the bleak mid-winter and David Willcocks’ arrangement of the plainchant Of the Father’s heart begotten. Pierre Villette’s Hymne a la Vierge is gorgeous and The Stable Door from Armstrong Gibbs is a lovely cameo.

David Denton
David’s Review Corner