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GRAMOPHONE (07/2013)
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Hyperion CDA67926

Code-barres / Barcode : 0034571179261

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Appréciation d'ensemble / Overall evaluation :

Reviewer: Richard Lawrence

Second set of Chandos Anthems from Trinity

 Three cheers for three more anthems for the Duke of Chandos to complement the three already available from the same conductor and choir (Hyperion, 7/09). His Grace’s musical establishment was much smaller than the sizeable forces employed here but many listeners will enjoy hearing Handel performed on a relatively grand scale.


As the composer recycled some of the numbers in his oratorios, choral performances are quite appropriate. And Stephen Layton directs his young singers with such a perfect control of texture and rhythm that there’s no hint of stodginess. Just listen to the way ‘Tell it out among the heathen’ in O come, let us sing unto the Lord swings along in its triple‑time confidence.


At 30 minutes, O come, let us sing is the longest of the three. The final chorus includes semiquaver runs, which the tenors execute with impressive precision (as they do in the opening chorus of I will magnify thee). Susan Gritton charms with the dotted rhythm of ‘O magnify the Lord’ and Thomas Hobbs – assisted by violins and recorders – delicately evokes a pastoral scene in his first air. Another tenor air is assigned to the countertenor Iestyn Davies who, not surprisingly, sounds a little uncomfortable with the low notes.


The plum in As pants the hart is the soprano’s ‘Tears are my daily food’. Like Lynne Dawson for Harry Christophers, Gritton gets louder on the long first note; but you have to go back to April Cantelo for David Willcocks (Argo, 7/68, 8/93, 7/00 – nla) to be mesmerised by what is more an intensification than a plain crescendo. In fact this version, fine as it is, doesn’t outclass the earlier recordings which, made 20 years apart, feature the seemingly ageless tenor of Ian Partridge.


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