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Andrew Palmer
Group Editor
12:00 AM 6th July 2024
arts
Review

Classical Music: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes.

 
I will lift up mine eyes.

Archer My song is love unknown**; Mendelssohn I will sing of thy great mercies from St Paul, Op36**; Pergolesi Stabat Mater dolorosa** (first movement)*; Bryan Four short anthems for upper voices and organ*; MacDonald Miserere mei,Deus; Parry Long since in Egypt’s plenteous land from Judith*; Sir John Dankworth Light of the world*; Mawby I will lift up mine eyes**; Edwards Round me falls the night, Op268*; Ireland Ex ore innocentium*; Greene The Lord is my shepherd*; –Hurford Litany to the Holy Spirit**; Hildegard of Bingen O virtus Sapientiae**; Blatchly Give us the wings of faith*; Lole The Father’s Love*;–Dering Duo Seraphim**; Dyson I will worship**; Stanford A song of peace from Bible Songs, Op113*.

The Girl Choristers of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick
Director Oliver Hancock
Mark Swinton* and Colin Millington** organ


Regent REGCD 583
https://www.regent-records.co.uk/


This is a lovely CD with some beautiful and expressive miniature gems, although I am not wholly convinced. Oliver Hancock's girls' choir is very good, and the tone of the girls' voices is lovely, although sometimes their diction lacks clarity. I would have preferred more variety in dynamics.

Every piece sounds the same, which is a conundrum to solve when it is just boys’ or girls’ voices singing on their own; perhaps a mixture of repertoire to take in SATB and an organ composition to offer something different would have worked better.

However, the variety of composers that are represented is impressive, and the Girls’ Choir of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, founded in 1990 by the then Director of Music, Simon Lole, whose perennially popular The Father’s Love featured, is certainly to be welcomed and attractively sung. There are also the first recordings of Four Short Anthems’ by Paul Bryan, written for St John’s College School, Cambridge—beautiful miniatures suitable as introits. The second of the set Loving Shepherd shows off the lovely tone, as does Hildegard of Bingen's short composition.

There are notable performances of Hurford's Litany to the Holy Spirit, with a lovely descant by Oliver Hancock, and Sarah MacDonald's seductive a cappella Miserere Mei plus some delightful and well-judged organ accompaniments.