Westminster Cathedral Choir, London Sinfonia; James O'Donnell - Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum (1991)

Posted By: Designol
Westminster Cathedral Choir, London Sinfonia; James O'Donnell - Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum (1991)

Igor Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum (1991)
Westminster Cathedral Choir; City of London Sinfonia; James O'Donnell, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 233 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 158 Mb | Artwork included
Classical, Choral, Sacred | Label: Hyperion | # CDA66437 | Time: 01:07:58

Here's a Symphony of Psalms that successfully captures the spirit and letter of the work–reverence, jubilation, and celebration, as well as specifics of orchestral color and texture. Boys' voices–supposedly Stravinsky's original choice–contribute their share to the bright choral timbre, an effect that works very well. We also get first-rate performances of the Mass and the rarely recorded Canticum sacrum.

Review by David Vernier

Only rarely have recordings of Stravinsky's choral compositions used ''children's voices'' when he asked for them. It is easy enough to see why. Back in the mid-1970s (reviewed 1/74, 10/75) Simon Preston and the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford made pioneering versions for Argo of the three major works on this new Hyperion disc (Symphony of Psalms, Mass and Canticum sacrum—now available on Decca (CD) 430 346-2DM; to be reviewed later), and the only reservations to temper Jeremy Noble's enthusiasm in Gramophone—whether the choir ''packs enough sheer muscle for the Symphony of Psalms'', and whether the chosen acoustic was appropriate—arise again with these new recordings.

The talented Westminster Cathedral Choir sing this often difficult music truly and almost too effortlessly. There's a particularly strong contrast between their account of the Symphony and the relatively hard-driven but powerfully intense reading of Gary Bertini with the Stuttgart Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra on Orfeo/Harmonia Mundi. What the Westminster recording lacks is a sufficient sense of the kind of forceful accentuation and sheer liveliness needed to complement the equally necessary smoothness and serenity. Stravinsky himself draws all these qualities from the young-sounding if not all-male Toronto Festival Singers on CBS Masterworks—a recording of inestimable documentary value.

Hyperion do not tell us where this new recording was made. If it was in Westminster Cathedral, then any excessive resonance has been skilfully tamed. But the balance might have given the voices greater presence than the players of the City of London Sinfonia, excellent though these are, simply to ensure that such passages as the Symphony's fugue and the Mass's ''Hosannas'' have more body and bite. Otherwise—as in the treatment of the ornaments in the Mass's Gloria and Sanctus—there is the risk of an almost Anglican languidness taking over.

I've set out my reservations, but this is still a valuable disc, not least for the splendid performance of the relatively neglected Canticum sacrum. The choir is at its most assured in the glowering, pungent angularities of Stravinsky's late style, there are two fine soloists in John Mark Ainsley and Stephen Roberts, and the conductor James O'Donnell confirms his abundant talents in giving this tricky piece its full expressive weight, with no hint of arid contrivance. This is memorable music-making.'

Review by Arnold Whittall, Gramophone Magazine

Westminster Cathedral Choir, London Sinfonia; James O'Donnell - Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum (1991)



Westminster Cathedral Choir, London Sinfonia; James O'Donnell - Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum (1991)



Westminster Cathedral Choir
Tenor Vocals – John Mark Ainsley, Nicholas Keay (9, 10), Simon Davies (9, 10)
Baritone Vocals – Stephen Roberts
Bass Vocals – Adrian Peacock (9, 10)
Alto Vocals – Robert Lewis (9, 10), Stephen Jeffs (7, 8)
Treble Vocals – Oliver Harding (7, 8), Robin Schmidt (9, 10)
City Of London Sinfonia
Iain Simcock (Organ, Piano)
Martin Baker (Piano)
James O'Donnell, conductor

Recorded on 18-20 June, 29 November 1990.

Tracklist:

Symphony of Psalms
01. I. Psalm 39 (3:09)
02. II. Psalm 40 (6:27)
03. III. Psalm 150 (11:45)

3 Motets
04. Pater noster (1:57)
05. Credo (4:02)
06. Ave Maria (2:14)

Mass
07. Kyrie (2:51)
08. Gloria (3:53)
09. Credo (4:57)
10. Sanctus (3:57)
11. Agnus Dei (3:11)

Canticum Sacrum
12. Dedicatio (0:47)
13. Euntes in mundum (2:19)
14. Surge, aquilo (3:00)
15. Diliges Dominum (2:56)
16. Qui confidunt (2:14)
17. Credidi, propter quod locutus sum (3:05)
18. Jesus autem ait illi (2:59)
19. Illi autem profecti (2:15)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 28. October 2016, 8:49

Westminster Cathedral Choir, City of London Sinfonia, James O'Donnell / Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-08-10 05:04:34

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Westminster Cathedral Choir, City of London Sinfonia, James O'Donnell / Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR12 -3.98 dB -22.13 dB 3:09 01-Symphony of Psalms - I. Psalm 39
DR14 -4.81 dB -25.81 dB 6:27 02-Symphony of Psalms - II. Psalm 40
DR16 -2.38 dB -25.03 dB 11:45 03-Symphony of Psalms - III. Psalm 150
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DR14 -6.38 dB -27.50 dB 4:02 05-Credo
DR11 -14.44 dB -31.86 dB 2:14 06-Ave Maria
DR12 -9.69 dB -25.24 dB 2:51 07-Mass - Kyrie
DR11 -11.57 dB -29.38 dB 3:53 08-Mass - Gloria
DR14 -4.25 dB -24.18 dB 4:57 09-Mass - Credo
DR12 -7.65 dB -25.14 dB 3:57 10-Mass - Sanctus
DR11 -15.61 dB -31.45 dB 3:11 11-Mass - Agnus Dei
DR11 -11.78 dB -27.23 dB 0:47 12-Canticum Sacrum - Dedicatio
DR12 -5.32 dB -24.42 dB 2:19 13-Canticum Sacrum - Euntes in mundum
DR13 -13.59 dB -31.08 dB 3:00 14-Canticum Sacrum - Surge, aquilo
DR12 -8.89 dB -27.02 dB 2:56 15-Canticum Sacrum - Diliges Dominum
DR14 -6.62 dB -25.83 dB 2:14 16-Canticum Sacrum - Qui confidunt
DR12 -4.97 dB -24.04 dB 3:05 17-Canticum Sacrum - Credidi, propter quod locutus sum
DR14 -7.17 dB -29.73 dB 2:59 18-Canticum Sacrum - Jesus autem ait illi
DR12 -2.72 dB -22.18 dB 2:15 19-Canticum Sacrum - Illi autem profecti
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 19
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 475 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Westminster Cathedral Choir, London Sinfonia; James O'Donnell - Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum (1991)

Westminster Cathedral Choir, London Sinfonia; James O'Donnell - Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Canticum Sacrum (1991)

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

More Stravinsky music in My Blog