Monday 25 February 2008

Review of "The Testament of Dr. Cranmer"


Robert Hugill is a mainly self-taught composer who has written charming music which is easy on the ear. Much is linked to chant, something that the composer was brought up with during his time with catholic church choirs. This disc comprises 77 minutes of music for vocal octet, tenor and strings, as well as octet and organ. Much has been specifically re-arranged for this recording.

The tenor soloist in The Lord bless thee and What is Man? is Christopher Watson. His beauty of sound appears effortless, yet he brings the impassioned moments directly to our attention with style. The eight voices of the ‘eight:fifteen’ vocal ensemble produce a radiant sound that is full of potential. Octets are notoriously difficult for achieving balanced and blended results, but there are only occasional lapses, which do not come close to distracting us from the many superb things we hear. Brough capably directs the two very different groups of musicians with considerable aplomb.

This is a disc of initial unknowns, but the end result is delightful.
Will Dawes

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