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Michael White
Gramophone, January 2015

GRAMOPHONE SPECIALIST’S GUIDE TO… Music for Choral Evensong # 8

A key issue from the Naxos choral series, recorded in 2002 when the choir was on a serious high (with Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton and Andrew Staples among its choral scholars). Stanford’s sturdily Edwardian idiom is softened by a sensitivity and warmth in the C major Evening Service. And the G major Service, with its bubbling organ line and treble solo, has the clear, bright delicacy that it should for something so distinctly ‘school of Fauré’. © 2015 Gramophone

Penguin Guide, January 2009

The church music of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford stands at the very heart of the Anglican tradition, and Christopher Robinson with his splendid, fresh-voiced choir of St John’s, Cambridge, offers an ideal cross-section. When Stanford tended to concentrate on setting the Magnificat and Nund dimittis of the Evening Service it is good to have two examples represented, the G major with its opening treble solo more intimate and less dramatic than the C major .  Having the C major Morning Service (but without the Jubilate) as well as the Communion Service gives a broader perspective, with the traditional Cranmer words fro the Mass ending with the Gloria, where nowadays Anglo-Catholic follows the Roman order in their devotions. As in other issues in the excellent Naxos series, the chapel acoustic is warmly atmospheric, while allowing lightness and transparency in the choral textures, with words commendably clear.

Paul Ingram
Fanfare, November 2004

Pipped-to-the-post, though, by a Naxos reissue of Britten’s St. Nicolas, also played time and again for reasons well beyond the call of Fanfare duty—tears and smiles together, and still seeming a soundtrack for the times (or mine anyway).

To read the complete review, please visit Fanfare online.

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