, January 2009
Elgar’s shorter Latin settings, Ave verum corpus, Ave Maria, Ave maris stella, O hearken Thou and O salutaris hostia, are all quite lovely. The more ambitious Te Deum and Benedictus was written for the Hereford Three Choirs Festival of 1897 and, like the Psalm setting Great is the Lord (first heard at Westminster Abbey in 1912), shows Elgar at full stretch. It is also good to have the serene Prologue to The Apostles (1903), The Spirit of the Lord, and, finally the two memorable excerpts from Elgar’s first oratorio, The Light of Life, notably the stirring Light of the world, which is the exultant closing chorus. Splendid singing throughout and excellent recording make this a collection to treasure.