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William J Gatens
American Record Guide, January 2017

Hill’s soloists are very fine… © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Samantha Holderness
Classical Music, December 2016

…the Bach Choir and David Hill’s release of Stanford’s Stabat Mater marked a significant new addition to the catalogue. © 2016 Classical Music

Robert Benson, December 2016

There are vocal treasures here with perfect performances by distinguished soloists, the famed Bach Choir and the Bournemouth Symphony on their home ground, conducted by David Hill. © 2016 Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, November 2016

The performances are excellent; the works substantial and will no doubt appeal to Anglophiles with a penchant for Elgar and Vaughan William’s choral works. Stanford convinces as an inventive late romanticist with a special flair for the choral. Recommended. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

John France
MusicWeb International, November 2016

As would be expected, The Bach Choir, the soloists and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Hill give an inspirational and often moving account of all three works. The dynamics of the recording are splendid. It goes without saying that Jeremy Dibble has provided essential and enlightening liner notes.

This CD is fast lining itself up to be one of my ‘discs of the year.’ …the opportunity to hear two major choral works by Stanford that I have never heard before makes this disc a real treasure. ‘The Resurrection’ and ‘Song to the Soul’ are two beautiful pieces of music that will long linger in the mind’s ear. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, October 2016

This is a very fine, strongly committed performance of the Stabat Mater and when one hears a performance such as this…one can only wonder why choral societies resolutely ignore this rich, dramatic score.

…Stabat Mater is, in my opinion, a masterpiece and it receives here a performance—and recording—that is fully worthy of it. The other two pieces don’t match its stature but they are valuable and welcome additions to the Stanford discography. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Stephen Pritchard
The Guardian, October 2016

Bravo to David Hill, the Bach Choir and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for bringing three neglected large-scale works by Charles Villiers Stanford to wider attention in this excellent recording. The operatic Stabat Mater is Wagnerian in ambition, and with two purely orchestral movements feels something like a choral symphony. …Clean-toned soprano Elizabeth Cragg stands out among the soloists. © 2016 The Guardian Read complete review

Alexandra Coghlan
Gramophone, October 2016

Four outstanding soloists (Elizabeth Cragg, Catherine Hopper, Robert Murray and David Soar) here give the work the operatic weight it aspires to, and under Hill the BSO sit nicely forwards in the balance, finding space for the surging instrumental currents Stanford often uses to drive the narrative. With echoes of Brahms, Mahler and even Wagner, this is a work very much in a broader European tradition of choral symphonies. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2016

Though Charles Villiers Stanford paid lip-service to his English upbringing, it was in Germany he completed his musical education and it remained his major influence. The large-scale Stabat Mater was composed for the Leeds Festival in 1907 and intended for the famous English chorus who resided there. It is a sizeable score in five sections and calls for the conventional four soloists and large orchestra, the long finale taking the work, as a whole, to around forty-five minutes. There is here a great deal to like, and why it failed to find a permanent place in the repertoire is a musical enigma, particularly so when it concludes with a big climatic choral passage supported by an earth-shaking part for organ, an effect still so beloved by English audiences. I guess had it carried Elgar’s name the score would now be a piece we often hear. The disc also contains a rarity with The Resurrection, composed at the age of twenty-three while still a student in Leipzig. Wagner was its obvious inspiration, the work scored for tenor, chorus and orchestra, and is of a sumptuous quality. Song to the Soul came at the end of Stanford’s life and remained unperformed until 2015. It uses two of Walt Whitman’s poems, To the Soul and Joy, shipmate, Joy! The performances throughout have a wonderful commitment from all concerned, though I must pick out for comment the tenor, Robert Murray, a young singer with a massive potential. The recording quality is a cut above anything that has previously come from the Bournemouth orchestra. A must for Anglophiles. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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