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Dave Billinge
MusicWeb International, March 2014

This lovely CD was not at all what I expected. The image I had of church music was of a genre that is conventional and safe. Neither composer represented here falls into place on either count. I suspect many a church choir would see these pieces as very challenging.

I enjoyed this disc enormously and would urge music-lovers to buy it at once… © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Edward Greenfield
American Record Guide, March 2014

The Vasaris are one of the Sceptered Isle’s better chamber choirs and sound like it in these spirited but elegant performances. The organ playing is stylish and colorful…Naxos clinches the deal with excellent sonics and a booklet with notes, texts, and an English translation of the Mass. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, January 2014

This new recording presents fresh new choral works by two of today’s best composers in the field of liturgical music from the current generation of British composers, Jeremy Filsell…and David Briggs…

Both composers supply the role of organist in their respective works, which adds authenticity to the score, and the Vasari Singers under the direction of Jeremy Backhouse, certainly inject great fervour and expressive power within the music and in doing so, lift it off the printed page and bring it to life. Highly recommended for choral music fans looking for something new. © 2014 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2013

Bringing together choral music by two of the most outstanding composers born in Britain and who share that life with a major career as church and concert organists. Much of [Jeremy Filsell’s] contribution to the disc comes in four pieces originally written for use in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle…the extensive Te Deum from the Windsor Service being particularly impressive. The harmonies in the music of David Briggs is of a more modern tonality. His major part of the disc was inspired by Saint Sulpice in Paris where the first performance was given in 2011. Scored for ‘Grand Orgue, Orgue de Choeur, and four part Choir’ it is a score where the moments of intense beauty are rather more memorable than the climatic moments in the Gloria. The disc is completed with a 2012 piece, Pange lingua, composed for the Vasari Singers, and an organ improvisation on the last two stanzas. With both composers involved as the organists in their respective works, and the singing of the British based Vasari Singers sounding mighty impressive, we must take these excellently recorded performances as benchmarks. © 2013 David’s Review Corner



John Quinn
MusicWeb International, October 2013

This is a very fine disc indeed and one that I’ve enjoyed greatly. The music of both featured composers is of the highest quality and the performances are surely definitive. The Vasari Singers are on top form, singing with incisiveness and great commitment. There are several opportunities for short solos which are taken by choir members and all acquit themselves very well. I should imagine that all this music presents challenges to the singers but the choir is equal to every demand made by the respective composers. In Jeremy Backhouse they have a conductor who is renowned for his expertise with contemporary choral music. As for the organ parts these sound hugely demanding but we have two players on hand who, without exaggeration, can be said to be among the world’s finest organists: they live up to expectations. The recorded sound is excellent: the organ is superbly reported with the choir balanced expertly against it. Each composer provides good notes about their respective pieces.

At first sight this may seem like a disc with specialist appeal but I hope that won’t be the case. None of this music, with the exception of Jeremy Filsell’s Jubilate, has been recorded before, and at the Naxos price this disc affords an excellent opportunity to sample first rate music which is firmly in the tradition of English church music. It moves that tradition forward in a most stimulating, accessible and inspiring way. I do urge you to try it: I think you’ll be excited by what you hear. © MusicWeb International Read complete review






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11:07:22 PM, 21 August 2014
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