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Lindsay Koob
American Record Guide, September 2013

Performances are quite good all-around. The boy-treble cathedral choir heard here offers sturdy and well-executed singing, and the orchestra is fine. While all four soloists acquit themselves admirably, soprano Elizabeth Clagg’s singing stands out…Mr Winpenny renders the single organ piece flawlessly. Naxos, as usual, sees to excellent sound and an adequate booklet. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



William Hedley
International Record Review, May 2013

This is a thoroughly recommendable collection of sacred choral music…

The performance is excellent, relaxed and easygoing, with no attempt to add extra weight or drama where it is not required. Elizabeth Cragg takes her solo role with great skill and sensitivity.

This is a lovely performance of the D major Missa brevis too…the overall mood, in line with the nature of the work, is relaxed and genial.

With an excellent quartet of soloists and expert playing from the period instrument group Sinfonia Verdi, it remains only to hand out plaudits to the choir, which is clearly in excellent shape under Lucas’s direction. © 2013 International Record Review



David Threasher
Gramophone, April 2013

…on this evidence the choral tradition at St Albans is in rude health, the tone consistent and untiring. The soloists blend well, with Elizabeth Cragg coming to the fore in an early setting of the Marian antiphon Regina coeli; and Tom Winpenny provides contrast in the much later F minor organ Fantasia, played with élan on the cathedral’s 1962 Harrison. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Michael Tanner
BBC Music Magazine, April 2013

…performed with energy, clarity and poise by the St Albans Cathedral Choir and the Sinfonia Verdi…The penultimate section is exquisitely lovely, and finely sung by Elizabeth Cragg. However the Fantasia in F minor, written for mechanical organ but played here on a manually operated one, puts everything else in the shade. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2013

Having in his childhood years led a nomadic life with his parents and his elder sister, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart eventually settled in Salzburg in 1773. He was seventeen and his residency marked a period dominated by church music that eventually took in the years he spent in the employment of the Archbishop’s court. All of the works on the present disc, with the exception of the Allegro and Andante, come from that early period, and they find the teenager already well versed in the demands of sacred music. The earliest work is the Regina coeli in B flat major dating from around 1772. In three sections, the outer ones including chorus, its extended central section is given to a solo soprano. The two short masses, each lasting around twenty minutes, include all six sections of the catholic mass in miniature, and date from 1774 and 1777. Scored for four soloists, chorus, small instrumental ensemble and organ, they are here performed by the choir of St. Albans Cathedral, a town within commuting distance of London, and one Britain’s earliest religious settlements. Unlike England’s other major cathedrals, St. Albans does not have a linked choir school and has to depend on local schoolboys to spend their ‘out of school’ time as the treble section of the choir. Yet, with the sixteen paid senior male singers, it has created an international reputation including a successful tour of the United States. It is certainly an enthusiastic group with a pleasing tonal quality, their exuberance matching the youthful quality of the music. With a good period orchestra, and the attractively voiced soprano of Elizabeth Cragg, we have the added attraction of the fine young organist, Tom Winpenny, in a powerful reading of the Allegro and Andante. © David’s Review Corner






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10:28:49 PM, 16 April 2014
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