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‘Superb, poised and polished’ – St Paul’s choir praised for new CD recording
04 July 2012
Reviews of the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir’s latest CD have praised the interpretation of some of Mozart’s scintillating choral music.
The new recording, Missa Solemnis, sees the choir, together with the St Paul’s Mozart Orchestra, organist Simon Johnson, and a quartet of soloists, perform four pieces of Mozart’s quintessential sacred music: Missa in C major ‘Missa solemnis’; Regina caeli; Vesperae solennes de Dominica;and Epistle Sonata in C Major.
Under the direction of Andrew Carwood, the recording has been praised in reviews.
Time Out gave the CD four stars and said: "The St Paul’s Cathedral Choir sings superbly, the playing of the St Paul’s Mozart Orchestra (very much "authentic”) is poised and polished, and there is a notable contribution from Simon Johnson on the lovely organ of St Giles, Cripplegate, where these performances were so excellently recorded.”
The International Record review was similarly enthusiastic, calling the CD a "subtly devised and well-executed record.”
Classic FM’s David Mellor named the recording Classic FM’s CD of the week and it was also The Record Corners CD of the month.
Missa Solemnis was released by Hyperion in late May and features artists including soprano Lynda Russell, mezzo-soprano Lina Markeby, tenor James Oxley and bass-baritone David Wilson-Johnson. The Mozart Orchestra is led by Richard Blaydon.
There has been a choir of boy choristers and Vicars Choral at St Paul’s Cathedral for over nine centuries. In 1127 the Bishop of London founded what was the first choir school and made provision for ‘almonry’ boys to serve the Cathedral. In the late nineteenth century the choir was reorganised and extended under Sir John Stainer with the objective of achieving increased vocal power to fill the Cathedral. Stainer worked on expanding the choir’s musical repertoire and contributed greatly to the musical tradition at St Paul’s today.
The present cathedral choir consists of around 30 choristers and eight probationers (boy trebles), and 12 professional adult singers or Vicars Choral (four altos, four tenors and four basses).