Britten St Nicolas

Britten: A Ceremony of Carols, Saint Nicolas

Britten: A Ceremony of Carols, Saint Nicolas

Band : City of London Sinfonia, The Holst Singers, Trinity College Cambridge
Release Date : October 1, 2012
Label : Hyperion

2013 saw the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth and Hyperion celebrated with this disc of two of the composer’s most popular choral works, both with a Christmas relevance.

The cantata Saint Nicolas tells the story of the original ‘Santa Claus’, a fourth-century saint whose acts—revitalizing three boys who had been pickled by an unscrupulous landlord being among the more dramatic—led to his canonization as patron saint of children and sailors. Britten’s lively setting is distinctly operatic, full of incident and colour—with the story brought ‘home’ through the use of congregational hymns. The part of Nicolas (here sung magnificently by Allan Clayton, already acclaimed as the heir to Peter Pears and Anthony Rolfe Johnson) is one of Britten’s great heroic tenor roles.

A Ceremony of Carols is a setting for treble voices and harp of some of the medieval texts which Britten loved so much, and is heard every Christmas in cathedrals, churches and concert halls throughout the land. This fresh, sparkling performance completes a thoroughly festive release.


Awards

Gramophone Choice
David Mellor’s Christmas Album of the Year


Reviews

‘As the Britten centenary looms into view, it is good to be able to offer an enthusiastic welcome to this sparkling release of two of his 1940s ‘classic’ scores … Allan Clayton makes the role of Nicolas entirely his own. What a glorious voice! … The hearty sailors, Pickled Boys and St Trinian’s-like piano duettists are all on top form. This is a beautiful and deeply affecting recording’ (Gramophone)’An ideal coupling … Layton’s sopranos and mezzos affect a purity that sounds ‘boyish’. Their intonation in the piquant harmonies of Wolcum Yole impresses … In the cantata, Allan Clayton’s Nicolas is more youthful-sounding than his predecessors, but Layton captures the mystery-play-like drama of the saint’s life story’ (The Sunday Times)’Ceremony of Carols is pretty much unalloyed inspiration and delight … Brilliantly accompanied by Sally Pryce, who delivers a spellbinding performance of the beautiful ‘Interlude’ (International Record Review)

‘Britten’s joyous cycle of nine carols is so closely associated with boys’ voices that it comes as a surprise to learn that he conceived it for female choir – and very attractive it sounds in this version with the women’s voices of Trinity College Choir, whose recessional “Alleluia” is as vividly captured as the contributions of harpist Sally Pryce. The Saint Nicolas cantata, with the City of London Sinfonia and a chorus including the boys of Temple Church Choir, receives an equally vivid performance. A Christmas disc to savour’ (Financial Times)

‘A Christmas favourite, the cantata St Nicolas, in which Stephen Layton directs an interpretation of subtlety and dramatic thrust’ (The Daily Telegraph)

‘The clear-toned adult voices of the Choir of Trinty College, Cambridge, highlight qualities in the work often missed when performed by the usual boys’ choir: the eerie beauty of ‘That yongë child’ blossoms … A welcome recording of this well-loved work’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘There are six other recordings of the piece available, including Britten’s own with Peter Pears and David Hemmings, but I would keep this one before all of them’ (Fanfare, USA)

Ikon II

Ikon II

Ikon II

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : September 27, 2010
Label : Hyperion

In 1997, the Holst Singers and Stephen Layton produced a disc that immediately became a cult classic and a best-seller. IKON, a selection of great Russian choral music from the 19th century, dazzled with its grand, opulent beauty. Now the same forces return with IKON II. Many of the works recorded on this disc are by composers whose names will not be familiar – but the extraordinary quality of the music is unmistakable and immediately enthralling.

“Impeccable… so, so well-conceived” BBC Radio 3 Record Review


Reviews

‘The remarkable performances of the Holst Singers, securely balanced on the tightrope between pianissimo sensitivity and full-throated veneration… The intonation is faultless across all the registers here, diction is clear and the choral sound is beautifully homogenized – there doesn’t seem to be a weak voice anywhere. Nor is there a weak piece: all 22 items blaze with devout passion. With the volume turned up, one after another brought up the hair on the back of my neck … This is a glorious CD and it should bring you much pleasure’ (International Record Review)

‘The programme is scrupulously prepared, with excellent pronunciation, idiomatic timbres anda fine fusion of ardent communication and sensitive shaping. The disc was recorded in the superb acoustic of All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, and Ivan Moody’s informative essay is an indispensable bonus’ (Gramophone)

‘Performing with insight and commendable Russian sonority, the Holst Singers have cast their net wide in this survey of Orthodox Church music. The main focus is the pre-Revolution period of the early 20th century, with Pavel Chesnokov generously represented. But he and other composers found ways of reconciling inventiveness with the Church’s constraints, and such rarities as César Cui’s Magnificat, together with works by Shvedov, Kastalsky and more familiar Rachmaninoff, make for a fascinating spectrum’ (The Daily Telegraph)

‘In hymns, prayers, invocations and anthems. These composers draw on ancient chant to produce music which is always passionate … Beautifully captured by the Holst Singers’ (Choir & Organ Magazine)

Tormis: Choral Music

Tormis: Choral Music

Tormis: Choral Music

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : March 31, 2008
Label : Hyperion

The Holst Singers are acclaimed as one of England’s greatest amateur choirs. The talent and commitment of the individual singers and the leadership of their mercurial conductor, Stephen Layton, ensure that their performances are always of the very highest standards.

Veljo Tormis is—along with Arvo Pärt—Estonia’s most famous living composer, holding an almost mystic status in his home country. He is also the passionate and practical torch-bearer for folk-singing revival, and the integration of an ancient cultural inheritance into thoroughly modern, post-Soviet lives. Interestingly, he trained at the Moscow conservatoire and was steeped in Soviet instruction during his early musical life. His music is almost all written for choirs; few composers have ever been so committed to one genre. Tormis’s choral specialism marks him out from Bartók, Kodály, Vaughan Williams and Grainger, whose pioneering interest in folksong was ultimately less purist given their use of the tunes alone in instrumental or orchestral works: for Tormis, the words and the music are inseparable.

The Holst Singers were recently invited to Estonia to perform Tormis’s music—a great honour, and a mark of their mastery of the repertoire.


Awards

Gramophone Recommends


Reviews

‘Stephen Layton and his superlative choir deliver an inspiring programme of a capella choral works by the Estonian composer. The music springs from the East European folk tradition – rhythmic underlay, biting harmonies, melodies seemingly smoothed by time. The British choristers tackle these alien sounds with conviction, precision, passion, perfect tuning across the octaves and much variety of tone colour and dynamics. Exciting moments abound: the Livonian songs are wittily profound, the final chord of Heather is a golden climax, while Childhood Memory proves that the choir harbours top soloists as well. It’s hard to believe that they all have day jobs’ (The Times)

‘After Arvo Part, Tormis is probably Estonia’s most important living composer … Here the Holst Singers under the indefatigable Stephen Layton explore this fascinating legacy, a mixture of arrangements of folk songs and original music inspired by the honesty and freshness of their idiom, in performances of characteristic spirit, atmosphere and incisiveness’ (Daily Telegraph)

‘These splendid performances highlight the music’s elemental aspects (not just evocations of forces of nature but the spirit of the country, long suppressed by occupiers), the Holst Singers’ commitment bringing out the ferocity of some passages with a quite scary intensity’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘A beautifully prepared and executed compilation. Stephen Layton and his Holst Singers have a well deserved reputation as bold explorers, and their intelligence and dedication are evident here’ (Gramophone)

‘It is very good news that the music of Veljo Tormis has, in recent years, become the province of choirs from outside Estonia … [Holst Singers] Their musical and linguistic virtuosity is more than proof that this music travels very well indeed … This collection covers quite a wide chronological range, covering Tormis’s earlier phase … and his later works, deriving their essence from the folk traditions disappearing around him and herladed here by the unforgettable, incantatory first song of the cycle Liivlaste parandus. It is this kind of writing that elicits of the Holst Singers’ best work, totally involved, with a hugely impressive full-throated resonance but also capable of tremendous delicacy and poise’ (International Record Review)

‘These performances by the Holst Singers under Stephen Layton capture the mustical simplicity of Tormis’s choral style, a touching blend of naturally-flowing tonality tinged with splashes of judiciously applied dissonance. Estonian lullabies, game songs, and othe more sulty examples of his mellifluous writing give character and variety to this colourful selection of a cappella part songs’ (The Scotsman)

‘The singing is nothing short of extraordinary…Stephen Layton summons up the most varied set of fortes and pianissimos…All good conductors work hard to taper their louds and softs, but this guy does it with an expressive flair that’s overwhelming…The choral artistry lives up to the music, and that’s saying a lot’ (American Record Guide)

‘This collection of choral songs is full of any number of magical effects that can only be realized by the very best ensembles. The Holst Singers surely fall into that category: In this range of works composed between 1948 and 1989 that range in tone from ambitious to playful, the group encompasses the Estonian earthiness without letting the music-making become too pretty’ (Fanfare, USA)

‘This wonderful new Hyperion release dedicated to Tormis’ music with Stephen Layton and the Holst Singers should, by virtue of its fascinating resuscitation of internationally neglected works, further contribute to the composer’s Western emergence … The works presented on this disc cover … almost the whole breadth of the composer’s career … The idiomatic and skilful performances on this release present the listener with a clear opportunity to appreciate the development and gradual maturation of a talented composer’s folk-inflected voice … This is a fine, fine disc of somewhat neglected choral treasures’ (MusicalCriticism.com)

‘There’s so much here to enjoy – and play over again – and it’s remarkable how Stephen Layton and his Holst Singers have so convincingly captured the flavor and character of the music and language – we usually only hear native choirs in this repertoire. The sound, from London’s All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, is just perfect–and Meurig Bowen’s excellent notes complete an all-around first-rate release. This immediately joins my “best discs of the year” list!’ (ClassicsToday.com)

‘No doubt each listener will have favourite moments, but a few of the most distinctive songs include the atmospheric “Singing aboard ship” (1983) – weeping sweethearts left on the shore as their young men are conscripted to fight at sea; the highly evocative “Autumn landscapes” (1964) – rendered with tenderness and subtlety; and the mesmeric “Estonian game songs” (1972), with haunting chants and rich harmonies. The Holst Singers prove to be fine advocates for Tormis, treating his music with the respect it deserves and showing that there is much worth exploring. This release can be warmly recommended’ (ClassicalSource.com)

‘The Holst Singers are a reputable British choir, and they have shown admirable commitment to recording and performing contemporary and neglected works… there’s a great deal of dramatic and dynamic variety under the sure leadership of conductor Stephen Layton, as well as obvious commitment to this exotic material’ (Opera News, USA)

Pierre Villette: Choral Music

Pierre Villette: Choral Music

Pierre Villette: Choral Music

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : February 27, 2006
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDA67539

This pioneering new recording—a showcase for the virtuoso talents of the Holst Singers—presents all fifteen of Villette’s unaccompanied choral works and his two motets for choir and organ.

Pierre Villette might best be regarded as a stylistic bridge between Debussy and Fauré on the one hand and Poulenc and Messiaen on the other. A world rich in the familiarities of Gregorian chant infuses much of his choral output, while ambitious chromaticisms and textural gestures create effects which are at once spiritual and sensuous. This is the music of private prayer set in the context of an incense-filled Gothic Über-Cathedral.

Under their long-standing director of music Stephen Layton, the Holst Singers have established themselves firmly at the top of the country’s league of chamber choirs. This new programme can only enhance their justly deserved reputation.


Reviews

‘The Holst Singers create great clouds of texture, which surge, form, and melt before your ears … For a bag of musical bonbons à la violette, this disc can’t be beaten’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Whether chant-inspired, leaning towards a jazz idiom or chromaticism, the music is an unusual hybrid. The Holst Singers are eloquent and beguiling under the thoughtful direction of Stephen Layton’ (Choir and Organ)

‘This is simply gorgeous music which has not so much moments of sublime beauty as virtually no passages which aren’t, both singly and cumulatively, utterly enchanting’ (International Record Review)

‘Shades of Messiaen, Duruflé, Gregorian chant and jazz tinge Villette’s elegant, unpretentious motets, sensitively performed here’ (Classic FM Magazine)

‘If I was going to choose a record company to commit Villette’s music to disc, then Hyperion would be my first choice and the team invovled in this production do not let composer or musicians down, capturing the mood so well … it is a cracking CD’ (Cathedral Music)

‘The Holst Singers’ blend, diction, intonation, and ensemble are uniformly up there with the best, as is the engineering of the recording’ (Fanfare, USA)

‘The Holst Singers – Stephen Layton’s ‘other’ great choir – is every bit as skilled, sonorous and sensitive as his better-known group, Polyphony. Very few conductors manage this sort of exquisite phrasing, subtle nuance, gleaming sound, and absolute control that you hear from any of Layton’s choirs. Hyperion records them beautifully and offers its usual complete and classy booklet’ (American Record Guide)

‘This recording offers the most comprehensive compilation of Villette’s choral music in print. Layton’s interpretation skillfully supports the composer’s intent, especially in terms of text-music relationships. The Holst Singers’ diversity of tone color, pristine intonation, exploration of dynamic range, and nuances of rhythmic flexibility are consistently excellent…Layton’s balance of every tone in the twenty-part texture achieves an outstanding sonority, a highlight of the recording…I recommend this recording enthusiastically and without reservation’ (Choral Guide, USA)

The Veil of the Temple

Tavener: The Veil of the Temple

Tavener: The Veil of the Temple

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : February 14, 2005
Label : RCA Red Seal

Stephen Layton – Conductor
Patricia Rozario – Soprano
Temple Church Choir
Holst Singers

‘Veil Of The Temple’ is a truly stunning world première recording of John Tavener’s biggest scale choral work to date. Taken from the recordings of the full all-night vigil, beautifully presented here as a 2 SACD (hybrid) in 5.1 Dolby Surround, with a comprehensive 70-page booklet containing full texts and notes.

The John Tavener Collection

The John Tavener Collection

The John Tavener Collection

Band : The Holst Singers
Title : The John Tavener Collection
Release Date : October 27, 2003
Label : Decca

Holst Singers, The Choir of the Temple Church, The English Chamber Orchestra

The John Tavener Collection is a tribute to one of the most influential contemporary British composers.

Sir John Tavener is renowned for his serenely beautiful music of spiritual contemplation, inspired by music of the Orthodox Church which he joined in 1977. After his conversion to the Orthodox religion, he formulated a unique new idiom, often employing a slow, almost minimalist unfolding of melodic material, sublime, mystical and very accessible. Tavener’s music has proved enormously popular on disc and this new collection is designed as the ‘must have’ Tavener recording.

The collection features new recordings of his most popular choral works including Song For Athene (notably performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess Of Wales) and The Lamb.

Schnittke: Choir Concerto & Minnesang

Schnittke: Choir Concerto & Minnesang

Schnittke: Choir Concerto & Minnesang

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : December 22, 2001
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDA67297

Unquestionably one of the choral masterpieces of the 20th century, Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Mixed Chorus is an extended setting (about 40 minutes’ duration) of words from ‘The Book of Lamentations’ by the Armenian monk Grigor Narekatsi (951-1003). Written in 1984/5, it is scored for a very large choir and for this recording Holst Singers were augmented by large contingents of London’s finest singers.

Like Wagner (in Tannhäuser) and Richard Strauss (in Guntram), Schnittke was attracted to the poetry and music of the minnesingers, the German medieval tradition of courtly lyrics and secular monophony. At first he planned to write an instrumental piece (intended for his third violin concerto) based on songs by the minnesingers, but he later rejected this idea and decided to keep these vocal melodies for vocal music. The result is Minnesang (1980/81) for 52 voices (18 sopranos, 12 altos, 10 tenors and 12 basses).

The third work on the disc is the haunting and evocative Voices of Nature, from 1972. This is a vocalise—that is, without words—for ten female voices and vibraphone. Its first public performance took place in spring 1975. Superb performances directed by the recipient of the recent Gramophone Award for the Best Choral Record of the Year (Britten’s Sacred and Profane, CDA67140), Stephen Layton.


Awards

Best of 2002 – BBC Music Magazine


Reviews

‘A superb and revealing performance of one of Schnittke’s most approachable works … The technical skill of the Holst Singers is truly impressive … there is a complete sense of security and enjoyment from the highest floating soprano to the lowest bass rumblings’ (Gramophone)

‘One of the most imposing of all Schnittke’s later works … superbly performed’ (The Guardian)

‘if the concerto does not ultimately go down as one of the masterpieces of the late twentieth century choral repertoire, I shall be staggered’ (International Record Review)

‘spinetingling … music great for contemplation, and a terrific showcase for the choir’s stamina’ (The Times)

‘superbly performed’ (The Guardian)

‘This is a disc that reaffirms Schnittke as one of the most significant composers of the last century and the Holst Singers as a leading chorus on the international stage’ (bbc.co.uk)

‘the music, direct in manner and imposing in effect, should appeal to anyone who already loves the sacred choral works of Rachmaninov or Tchaikovsky’ (Irish Times)

‘high vocal standards … A fine introduction to some rare and satisfying repertoire’ (The Observer)

‘Stephen Layton’s Holst Singers really show their mettle … Schnittke fans will want to hear this; and anyone else who’s curious about what one of the 20th Century’s more intriguing and inventive composers was up to during the 1980’s also should check it out’ (ClassicToday.com)

‘The Holst Singers have done an excellent job … They have a beautiful, cool sound in the best British tradition, and the deep bass voices bring forth some glorious noises … This disc is hugely welcome … fascinating and, ultimately, uplifting’ (musicweb.uk.net)

Grechaninov: Vespers

Grechaninov: Vespers

Grechaninov: Vespers

Band : The Holst Singers
Title : Grechaninov: Vespers
Release Date : November 1, 1998
Label : Helios, Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDH55352

Grechaninov was initially taught by Anton Arensky in Moscow, and then later, in 1890, he went to St Petersburg to study with Rimsky-Korsakov. It was he who influenced his style and helped him launch his professional career. After the Revolution, Grechaninov became increasingly uneasy in Soviet Russia, and in 1925 left for ever. In 1946 he took American citizenship.

An unusually versatile and prolific composer, he wrote operas, symphonies, chamber music, over 250 songs, and a great deal of music for children. He has been described as the most representative composer of his generation writing for the Orthodox service.

Vespers is part of the All-Night Vigil service, and Grechaninov’s setting was composed, premiered, and published in 1912. This precedes Rachmaninov’s setting by three years. It appears to have lain dormant for some eighty years until it was revived in America for its first performance of modern times in 1995.


Reviews

‘Numerous delights. The performance by the Holst Singers is stunningly good. This serene, delectable music is irresistible and so is its performance’ (Choir & Organ)

‘This recording brings a sense of deep spiritual peace and will especially appeal to those who already know the beauties of the Russian liturgical tradition’ (Contemporary Review)

‘Great blocks of beautifully contructed sound are stunning in their apparent simplicity’ (The Scotsman)

‘Two highly attractive and unstuffy Russian liturgical works in attractive performances’ (Classic CD)

‘Really something of a triumph’ (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 31

Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 31

Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 31

Band : Christine Brewer, Graham Johnson, The Holst Singers
Release Date : July 1, 1998
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDJ33031

Schubert and Religion

CHRISTINE BREWER soprano

HOLST SINGERS / STEPHEN LAYTON
PATRICIA ROZARIO soprano
LORNA ANDERSON soprano
CATHERINE DENLEY alto
CATHERINE WYN-ROGERS alto
PAUL ROBINSON baritone
GRAHAM JOHNSON piano

This thirty-first issue in The Hyperion Schubert Edition presents a programme of Schubert’s religious music. While the composer’s own religious stance might best be described as ‘ambivalent’, he nonetheless turned to religious texts throughout his short life. Here we have the mighty ballads Hagars Klage (in which Hagar, concubine to Abraham, laments her exile in the desert) and Mirjams Siegesgesang (which sees the prophetess Miriam rejoicing in the Israelite camp after Pharaoh and all his troops have been drowned in the Red Sea). The latter work includes a sizeable role for chorus.
A particular curiosity is the setting of Psalm92: written for baritone solo and chorus, this is the only example of Schubert using a Hebrew text. The remaining Psalms here are settings of the German translations by Moses Mendelssohn.

The second version of Die Allmacht is a fragment (here performed in a completion by the late Reinhard van Hoorickx and Dietrich Knothe) for chorus and shows the exuberant and celebratory side of the composer when addressing a text so full of praise.


Reviews

‘An amazing disc in this matchless series – Unmissable’ (Classic Express)
‘Some fascinating discoveries’ (Classic CD)

Linley: The Song of Moses

Linley: The Song of Moses

Linley: The Song of Moses

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : June 1, 1998
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDH55302

Thomas (The Younger) Linley
The Song of Moses
Let God Arise

The Holst Singers
Parley of Instruments

With Andrew Dale Forbes, Robin Blaze, Sophie Daneman, Andrew King, Julia Gooding

Conducted by Peter Holman

Ikon

Ikon

Ikon

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : May 1, 1997
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDA66928

James Bowman regards this disc as the most inspiring he has recently recorded; and the Managing Director of Musica Russica writes: ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project … I hope this will not be the last recording of Russian music by the excellent Holst Singers!’

The tradition of Russian choral music stands today as rich and diverse as at any time in its long history, and this recording brings movements from the Liturgies by Tchaikovsky and Gretchaninov together with seven beautiful pieces by Georgy Sviridov, including three Sacred Choruses which he successfully steered through Communist prohibition under the guise of incidental music for the theatre.

As an appendix, works by Górecki, Pärt and Nystedt show how the Orthodox tradition has affected neighbouring countries (Poland, Estonia and Sweden, respectively); Immortal Bach is a particularly evocative work—a ‘free’ exploration of Bach’s chorale ‘Komm, süsser Tod’.


Reviews

‘Sensitive readings of the utmost sensitivity and control’ (Gramophone)

‘Uniformly charismatic performances. Fine engineering and notes too. Highly recommended’ (Fanfare, USA)

Britten: Christ's Nativity & other choral works

Britten: Christ’s Nativity & other choral works

Britten: Christ’s Nativity & other choral works

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : November 1, 1995
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDA66825

This recording brings together a selection of Britten’s choral music for Christmastide, a season much enjoyed by the composer to the end of his life and one in which he celebrated in an extraordinarily diverse manner. The earliest work isA Hymn to the Virgin, composed in 1930 to an anonymous fourteenth-century text. Christ’s Nativity is a fascinating work from Britten’s student days which is here receiving its premiere recording.

A Boy was Born has always been a central part of the repertoire. The sequence of five highly individual and virtuoso variations are set for mixed voices and boys’ choir while A Shepherd’s Carol, written in the 1940s after Britten’s return from America reflects the easy, laid-back approach of American popular music of that period.


Reviews

‘Interpretaciones tan refrescantes como escrupulosas’ (CD Compact, Spain)

‘Remarquable! Les Holst Singers se révèlent être de remarquables interprètes de leur cher répertoire national. Cette anthologie atteste du niveau vocal et musical de ce choeur (et donc de leur chef Stephen Layton)’ (Diapason, France)

‘Their commitment to what they are singing rings out with every note. A Boy was Born is imbued with more ravishing feeling than I would have thought possible’ (Organists’ Review)

Vaughan Williams: Over hill, over dale

Vaughan Williams: Over hill, over dale

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : October 1, 1995
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDA66777

Vaughan Williams’s small-scale choral works are a comparatively lesser-known aspect of his art. The majority of these compositions arose from his folksong-collecting activities at the turn of the century; this recording brings some of his finest folksong arrangements together with other a cappella works. They cover the whole of the composer’s long career. The Holst Singers are the foremost amateur choir in London. Under their musical director Stephen Layton they regularly perform on Radio 3 and Classic FM and in the major concert venues. The choir is joined for several songs by the renowned soloists Ian Bostridge and Michael George.


Reviews

‘The Holst Singers … sing with a spellbinding sense of atmosphere and crystal-clear textures. Strongly recommended for all admirers of Vaughan Williams and fine choral work’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘This new Vaughan Williams collection complements the Holst Singers’ critically acclaimed 1993 CD of Holst partsongs (CDA66705) and is equally impressive … Masterly, but also supremely musical … The Shakespeare settings are outstanding’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Une réussite artistique exemplaire’ (Répertoire, France)

‘En todo momento, los cantores de Layton demuenstran un dominio total y lenguaje musical de Vaughan Williams … Un hermoso disco’ (CD Compact, Spain)

‘A most worthwhile enterprise, strongly recommended’ (Fanfare, USA)

Boughton: Bethlehem

Boughton: Bethlehem

Boughton: Bethlehem

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : October 1, 1993
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDA66690

Awards

Gramophone Editor’s Choice


Reviews

‘A charming, beautiful, very moving music drama’ (American Record Guide)
Lie strewn the white flocks

Lie strewn the white flocks

Lie strewn the white flocks

Band : The Holst Singers
Release Date : September 1, 1985
Label : Hyperion
Catalog ref. : CDH55050

Reviews

‘I loved this record … and the programme itself is a delight’ (Gramophone)

‘A delightful coupling of rare British choral works’ (BBC Record Review)

‘This attractive English collection is a specially welcome addition to the CD catalogue’ (Gramophone)

‘With glowing sound and very attractive works for coupling, this is an outstanding bargain issue’ (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)