The Sixteen & Harry Christophers – An Old Belief (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:16:01 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Coro
Avec “An Old Belief”, les chanteurs de The Sixteen – ensemble vocal toujours parmi l’un des plus plébiscités au monde – nous montrent durant une heure et quart qu’ils peuvent couvrir cinq siècles de musique avec grâce et naturel. Fort de plus de quarante ans d’existence, le choeur fondé par Harry Christophers qui officie toujours aux commandes impressionne par la qualité constante de ses interprétations, quel que soit le répertoire concerné.
With ‘An Old Belief’, the singers of The Sixteen—still one of the most popular vocal ensembles in the world—prove that it only takes an hour and a quarter to cover five centuries of music with grace and sincerity. The choir, founded by Harry Christophers (who’s still at the helm today), never fails to impress with the consistent quality of its performances, whatever the repertoire.
Hubert Parry’s six Songs for Farewell, which form the centrepiece of the album, are surrounded by a number of Renaissance works—some melodies and carols by Thomas Campion—as well as Cecila McDowall’s contemporary An Unexpected Shore. And every piece is delivered with the same passion and authenticity.
The Songs for Farewell, written shortly before Parry’s death, are full of exaggerated lyricism, reflecting the composer’s emotions as he helplessly watched the horrors of the First World War. Parry saw a significant number of his students at the Royal School of Music die in battle during this period. The Sixteen wonderfully captures all the pain that permeates through this composer’s work.
The choir maintains consistent excellence throughout the rest of the repertoire, especially in the Renaissance works. The carols possess a real vocal purity, reminiscent of a recent album by the Huelgas Ensemble, En Albion, released in summer 2021. The fifth track, An Unexpected Shore, is a wonderful surprise: McDowall’s shimmering harmonies will amaze all those who listen. It’s impossible not to admire the versatility of The Sixteen, which has so far managed to maintain the highest artistic standards for more than four decades. – Pierre Lamy
01. Martha Mclorinan – Deo gracias, Anglia (03:40)
02. The Sixteen – Author of Light (03:24)
03. The Sixteen – Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing (08:18)
04. Daniel Collins – Saint Thomas Honour We (04:39)
05. Alexandra Kidgell – Good News from New England: I. An Unexpected Shore (05:03)
06. The Sixteen – Never Weather-Beaten Sail (02:10)
07. Daniel Collins – Benedicite Deo (04:17)
08. The Sixteen – Tune Thy Music (02:08)
09. Alexandra Kidgell – O Blessed Lord (07:49)
10. The Sixteen – Songs of Farewell: I. My Soul, there is a Country (04:00)
11. The Sixteen – Songs of Farewell: II. I Know my Soul hath Power to Know all Things (02:30)
12. The Sixteen – Songs of Farewell: III. Never Weather-Beaten Sail (03:06)
13. The Sixteen – Songs of Farewell: IV. There is an Old Belief (04:57)
14. The Sixteen – Songs of Farewell: V. At the Round Earth’s Imagine Corners (07:53)
15. The Sixteen – Songs of Farewell: VI. Lord, Let Me Know Mine End (12:00)