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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Gerald Finzi, from a prosperous Jewish family, but very much the English gentleman, wrote a handful of anthems and motets for the Anglican Church, here freshly and warmly sung by the choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, under their choirmaster, Christopher Robinson. Best known is the strong and vigorous motet, God is gone up, with a triumphant shout, setting a text by the 17th-century poet, Edward Taylor; and most of the other settings use verse by the mystic pots of that period, much loved by Finzi. Crowning the collection is the extended setting of Richard Crashaw’s poem, Lo, the full final sacrifice, ending on an ecstatic ‘Amen’ with scrunching harmonies. Unlike most offerings in this excellent St John’s series from Naxos, this one includes secular items, unaccompanied part-songs, beautifully wrought, setting poems by Robert Bridges.



Koob
American Record Guide, June 2003

"Thanks to Naxos, the lovely and intimate music of Gerald Finzi seems at last to be gaining the international appreciation it deserves. This is one of just a few collections of his unique and rewarding choral music.

Christopher Robinson's fine St John's choristers sing with sure skill and sensitivity. They boast a somewhat more full-bodied characteristic sound than many of their counterparts. Their alto section, sounding as if it contains a couple of good countertenors, is particularly rich and full. Sound is excellent, as are notes and texts. At Naxos's bargain price, there is no reason to further put off getting to know this minor master's enchanting choral music."



Sensible Sound, May 2003

"The melodies are pleasing, the harmonies are lovely, the sonics are excellent, and the overall result is a warmly satisfying program of more than an hour's worth of seldom-recorded music that would be a welcome addition to the CD library of anyone who enjoys choral music."



Anthony Burton
BBC Music Magazine, January 2003

"The performances are excellent, beautifully tuned and blended, well varied in colour and dynamics, with the text clearly projected (apart from the odd final consonant); and the recording is good."




James Jolly
Gramophone, December 2002

"St. John's Choir has enjoyed a renaissance under its music director Christopher Robinson and received a major boost with its major contract with Naxos, something guaranteed to raise its profile in the farthest corner of the world."



Scott Morrison
Amazon.com

"The singing here is impeccable and stylish. The recorded sound is all one could ask. Another triumph for St. John's, Cambridge, its conductor, Christopher Robinson, and for Naxos. A hearty recommendation."






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8:41:50 PM, 29 January 2015
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