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Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, January 2016

What makes this chorus special is the vitality and joy that illuminates its singing, and that is a constant. Finch is a choral conductor to watch; his shaping of line and ear for nuance and detail within a nicely paced whole is outstanding and wants, only occasionally, a little more pushing forward across stanza breaks to be consummate. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, November 2015

British terminology aside, this “upper voice” ensemble is a girl’s choir, and a pretty good one at that. I like most of the repertoire too, especially the selections by Tarik O’Regan, who is one of the most vivid communicators among our contemporary composers. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Alexandra Coghlan
Gramophone, October 2015

The 24 singers together create a sound that is both blended and impeccably balanced, completely consistent throughout widely varied repertoire, but also capable of such constant reinvention. Now forthright and declamatory for Tavener, then misty and soft-focus for James MacMillan, the musicianship of these young performers far outstrips their years.

This is an exceptional album, both in concept and execution. With plenty more upper-voices repertoire to explore, I can only hope that this is the start of a continuing relationship with Naxos. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Christian Carey
Sequenza21.com, July 2015

Occupying as it does an important niche in choral literature, the CD Song of the Stars demonstrates the vitality and importance of Naxos Records’ “no stone left unturned” recording ethos. Here we find a number of gems for upper voices—many of them in their debut recordings—that provide a strong case for inclusivity.

…the Wells Cathedral School Choralia…is a fine group that demonstrates strong technical skills, beautiful tone, and excellent musicality throughout Song of the Stars. One hopes that conductors and composers take a careful listen to this CD. It provides many ideas for possible programming and the creation of new works for upper voice ensembles. Recommended. © 2015 Sequenza21.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2015

Choral singing in English universities and music colleges is presently enjoying a golden era, the new disc showcasing female voices from Wells Cathedral School. It carries the subtitle ‘British Music for Upper Voice Choir’, and my deep concern, as I regularly hear choirs from music schools of various ilks, is that young female singers are being encouraged to go to the very upper limits of their vocal range, bringing a strain on voices before they have had time to mature. That strain palpably exists in many of these performances, and the high soprano solo in John Tavener’s Ikon of Saint Hilda really should not have happened. That said, these youngsters are never less than highly enthusiastic in performances of a rich seam of British music that includes the third group of Gustav Holst’s Choral Hymns from Rig Veda, in which he sought to breath life into mysterious texts from the orient. I have also greatly enjoyed the two recent and outstanding works from James MacMillan, Nova! Nova! Ave fit ex Eva and New-made for a King, both composed with youth choirs in mind, and it is in this repertoire that the Wells group will excel. Much the same can be said of Bob Chilcott’s The Song of the Stars, composed for Cantamus, the UK’s leading girls choir, its content also well within the scope of the Wells group. And so we reach Tarik O’Regan’s less demanding works, Columbia aspexit, A Light Exists in Spring and the joyful Alleluia, laus et gloria, three tracks that afford considerable pleasure. I must add that the disc contains some gorgeous harp playing from Eleanor Turner in the Holst, and the sound quality is very good. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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