The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral

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The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ? Andrew Lucas
Naxos 8.573394

I imagine that a number of readers will be familiar with John Rutter’s carols and hymn tune settings. This his latest release, one of several on the Naxos label, is a world première recording in its complete form of a collection of nine settings with full orchestra of the psalms of David – Nos. 100, 121, 146, 23, 96/Veni Creator Spiritus, 27, 47, 84 and 148. The album features both the Cathedral and Abbey Girls Choirs (11 tracks), soprano Elizabeth Cragg (3), tenor Pascal Charbonneau (3), trumpeter Mike Allen (1), and organist Tom Winpenny (2). Andrew Lucas has been Master of the Music at the cathedral and Music Director of St Albans Bach Choir since 1998. The recording was made possible by a bequest to the cathedral by the late Dr John Birch, organist of the RPO, to whose memory it is dedicated. The remaining psalm settings were written for special occasions: This is the day for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (2011), Lord, Thou hast been our refuge for the annual City United Guilds service (2008), and Psalm 150 for Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee service (2002). With a playing time of 71:43 and at the low Naxos price, lovers of good choral music will want this disc.

Peter Burt

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