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Posted: Monday 9th January 2023
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Five Mystical Songs – Choir & Organ

An exquisite performance of The Call by Roderick Williams and Martin Ford (the organ accompaniment suiting the piece so well) is a highlight of this Vaughan Williams anniversary collection of well-loved pieces from the Anglican tradition. As ever, the Vasari Singers are confident advocates for repertoire they and their conductor know very well, scrupulously adhering to every musical detail and editorial mark. In the larger-scale, more robust works, such as Elgar’s Give unto the Lord and John Cameron’s choral setting of ‘Nimrod’ as Lux aeterna, their precision sometimes has a jarring effect, perhaps because of their relatively small forces. I enjoyed Harold Darke’s rarely heard O Gladsome Light and Holst’s imaginative setting of Psalm 148 to the German melody normally used for All Creatures of our God and King, but the stand-out choral performances for me are the reflective anthems at the heart of the programme: Wesley’s Wash me throughly and Vaughan Williams’s O taste and see.

Clare Stevens, Choir & Organ