2007 was an excellent year for English music releases, with the usual sterling work from companies such as Naxos, Dutton and Chandos. (In particular, look out for Chandos's recent releases of Omar Khayyám by Granville Bantock --a lush masterpiece of a work, beautifully performed and produced—and Foulds's World Requiem, which recently received its first performance since 1926, at the Royal Albert Hall. It is a prime example of a once-popular work that has inexplicably disappeared from the repertoire). As well, Lyrita has continued to issue selections from its treasure-trove of old recordings, including some completely unfamiliar works.
Vintage TV and Radio Classics (8.570332)
Those of a nostalgic bent will love Vintage TV and Radio Classics, a wonderfully uplifting record that, true to its title, presents works that will be well-known to many. It opens with Vaughan Williams's jolly March from Sea Songs and includes a very laid-back performance of Billy Mayerl's jazzy Marigold, Gilbert Vinter's arrangement of infectious Sullivan tunes, Ashworth Hope's Barnacle Bill (better known as the Blue Peter theme tune) and Dance Revels by Montague Philips, a versatile composer of piano concertos and a symphony as well as light music. Eric Coates is, of course, represented, though by the stirring Sound and Vision rather than By the Sleepy Lagoon (as immortalised by Desert Island Discs). One of the album's most engaging works is Fritz Spiegl and Manfred Arlan's Radio 4 theme tune, justifiably the subject of some controversy when it was recently dropped by the BBC. It masterfully interweaves famous British tunes including Rule Britannia, What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor, Greensleeves, Early One Morning, Annie Laurie, The Londonderry Air, Men of Harlech and Scotland the Brave. Marches, jazzy works, light music, and film music-like pieces combine to make this a varied yet ever-charming disc, with superb performances from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland.
Samuel Sebastian Wesley Anthems (8.570318)
Samuel Sebastian Wesley was a seminal figure in English church music. The son of another Samuel Wesley (also a church music composer), and grandson of the great hymn writer Charles Wesley, he was a chorister at the Chapel Royal and organist at four different cathedrals between 1832 and his death in 1876, and produced an impressive body of works for the Anglican church. This disc contains a selection of pieces varying in length and mood, from the short but sweet O God, whose nature to anthems of almost epic proportions, such as Let us lift up our heart (formidable in both forces and duration, at almost twenty minutes), the wonderfully tranquil Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace contrasting with the more dramatic The wilderness and the solitary place. Christopher Robinson admirably directs the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.
Havergal Brian Symphonies Nos. 4 & 12 (8.570308)
Havergal Brian is known for his predilection for composing symphonies. Some of them are available on recordings from Naxos, including this album, previously released by Marco Polo. Although the Fourth Symphony (Psalm of Victory) went unperformed for thirty-four years—probably because it requires an enormous orchestra—it is a fascinating work, based on Psalm 68. Although Brian was not conventionally religious, he, like his contemporary Vaughan Williams, responded deeply to certain spiritual texts from the Judeo-Christian tradition. In 1908 he started writing a setting of Psalm 68 for orchestra and chorus, before turning in 1932-33 to Martin Luther's German version of the text. Yet the Fourth Symphony is not just a setting of a victory hymn, but also a depiction of Germany at the time and the dark direction in which Brian felt the country was headed. Such a Promethean vision must have been painful for him, devoted as he was to German thought, literature, and music. Brian's publisher was German, and the composer may have chosen Luther's text partly to appeal to a German audience. It is ironic, then, that the work was possibly also intended as a call to arms, an homage to Brian's hero Cromwell, who ordered his troops to sing Psalm 68 before battle. The text is a bloodthirsty one, and the organ, brass, and percussion reflect this martial aspect. The work is opened by a neo-baroque movement with a strong mood of triumph, and in the ensuing movements, the composer takes us through a series of dramatic contrasts: violent, dissonant riots of sound, passages of beautiful tranquillity, scenes of carnage and devastation, victory parades with march-like rhythms, ferocious scherzos, and a majestic canon based on the famous Lutheran hymn tune Eine feste Burg, with a conclusion that again imitates a march.
The contrastingly short Twelfth Symphony was composed twenty-five years later, in 1957. It was inspired by Aeschylus's Agamemnon, which Brian also set as a one-act opera later in the same year (with instructions that the symphony could be played as a prelude to the opera). The symphony is in one movement, and opens with a brief, unsettling Introduction that moves swiftly into an Allegro Maestoso and then the funereal march A Tempo Marcia Lento. An intense slow section Adagio Espressivo ensues, and the symphony concludes with a rather odd Allegro Vivo. The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Chorus, Slovak National Opera Chorus, Echo Youth Choir, Cantus Mixed Choir and Brno Philharmonic Choir are conducted by Adrian Leaper, and provide sensitive performances of these very different symphonies.
Arnold Bax Violin Sonatas, Vol. 1 (Nos. 1, 3) (8.557540) Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2 (No. 2, Sonata in F Major) (8.570094) Piano Works, Vol. 4 (Music for Two Pianos) (8.570413)
Laurence Jackson and Ashley Wass have recorded two albums of Arnold Bax's violin sonatas. There is some wonderfully sensuous and romantic music here (the Legend for Violin and Piano on Volume 2, for example), combined with some tougher, terser pieces (such as the second and final movement of the third sonata, on Volume 1). Fascinatingly, Volume 1 includes the original second and third movements of the first sonata, which were later significantly revised. The works are played with great skill and both discs come highly recommended, as indeed does the Naxos recording of Bax's music for two pianos, with Ashley Wass and Martin Roscoe. It includes the lively and buoyant Festival Overture, dramatic The Poisoned Fountain, the impressive Sonata for 2 Pianos, and the atmospheric Red Autumn.
William Alwyn Chamber Music and Songs (8.570340)
Another new Naxos chamber music disc features the work of William Alwyn, and covers a variety of material from the romantic (the beautiful and lyrical Rhapsody for piano quartet and Ballade for viola and piano), to the rather astringent and spiky (such as the Sonata Impromptu for violin and viola). Some pieces contain chilling and sparse string writing, reminiscent of Warlock's The Curlew (the resemblance is particularly noticeable in the incredibly atmospheric Three Winter Poems). All are skilfully composed works, well performed by musicians including Iain Burnside, Jeremy Huw Williams, the Bridge Quartet, Roger Chase and Madeline Mitchell.
Gerald Finzi Earth and Air and Rain (8.557963) A Young Man's Exhortation (8.570352)
Naxos has been continuing its excellent work on Finzi, recently releasing two more discs of his songs in its English Song Series. The first features Roderick Williams accompanied by Iain Burnside and the Sacconi Quartet, performing Earth and Air and Rain, To a Poet, and By Footpath and Stile (Finzi's earliest Hardy setting, of which this is the only version currently available). Williams is no stranger to English solo song, and always gets to the heart of the work. Here he is beautifully sympathetic, responsive to all the nuances of the texts. The other disc contains the three song-cycles A Young Man's Exhortation, Till Earth Outwears and Oh Fair to See, with John Mark Ainsley as the soloist. Ainsley's gorgeous tone and exquisite enunciation facilitate his communication of the texts, and Iain Burnside is again a sensitive accompanist.
Ralph Vaughan Williams Hodie/Fantasia on Christmas Carols (8.570439)
Other fine English composers of the early twentieth century are also featured in the current Naxos catalogue. One of the new releases is Vaughan Williams's Hodie (This Day), a wonderfully dramatic Christmas cantata setting of a variety of 'songs' (including a 'lullaby,' 'Choral,' 'Pastoral,' and a hymn), with words by poets such as Milton and Hardy, interwoven with 'narrations' of the Nativity Story sung in unison by boy choristers to organ accompaniment. It is a superb performance, as one might expect from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, soloists of the calibre of Janice Watson and Peter Hoare, and adroit conductor Hilary Davan Wetton, a long-time champion of English music. St Catherine's School Middle Chamber Choir provide wonderful boys' voices. Hodie is preceded by the Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Vaughan Williams's glorious blended setting of traditional English carols, enthusiastically sung by the Guildford Choral Society with Stephen Gadd as soloist.
Herbert Howells Hymnus paradisi/Sir Patrick Spens (8.570352)
Herbert Howells's Hymnus paradisi is a powerful choral work, one of the greatest and most moving ever composed. This release features David Hill conducting the Bach Choir, and Claire Rutter and the distinctive James Gilchrist as soloists. It is a fantastic recording, full of aching, searing beauty and intensity. To make it utterly irresistible, the disc includes a premiere recording of Sir Patrick Spens, a setting for chorus, orchestra, and baritone (here provided by the superb Roderick Williams) of a traditional Scottish ballad. It was written when Howells was only twenty-five, but shows the young composer already developing an individual voice and a great aptitude for characterful choral settings and brilliant orchestrations.
John Gardner Piano Concerto No. 1/Symphony No. 1/ Midsummer Ale Overture (8.570406)
John Gardner followed Gustav Holst, Vaughan Williams, and Herbert Howells as Director of Music at St Paul's Girls' School. This disc of Gardner's music opens with the jolly overture Midsummer Ale, and moves on to the first Piano Concerto. This is a rather tense work, with frenetic first and final movements. Although excellently played by Peter Donohoe, it is quite hard on the ear at times. The First Symphony, which concludes the disc, is a much more approachable work. Its rarefied opening develops into a beautiful, sometimes lugubrious, and almost otherworldly first movement. There is some really attractive music in the dancing second movement, and the third movement, with its spare and remote sounds, is occasionally reminiscent of Vaughan Williams's third, fourth, and sixth symphonies. The Finale is an introspective yet exhilarating movement. This superb symphony is performed with great energy and verve by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones.
Richard Arnell Piano Concerto & Symphony No. 2 (CDLX 7184) Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 (CDLX 7194)
Dutton has also continued to produce English music releases to the very highest standard, and is to be commended on promoting the less familiar composers. The label is currently focussing on Richard Arnell, and has released a recording of his Piano Concerto and Second Symphony, as well as a disc containing his Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. Martin Yates conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on both. The Piano Concerto is an interesting and unusual work, splendidly performed by the inimitable David Owen Norris. The Second Symphony closes the disc, and contains well-written, appealing, and sometimes very dramatic passages. The Fourth and Fifth Symphonies are a wonderful discovery, with some fantastic (if, at times, rather brash) music. The wild and triumphant opening movement of the Fourth Symphony is followed by a romantic second movement Andante con moto, and the work is completed by a manic third movement. The Fifth Symphony is similarly energetic, with a rather strident opening movement, a second movement that goes through a whole series of changes in mood, and an epic final movement Andante e serioso. The performances given by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are full of vitality and conviction, with radiant playing.
David Matthews From Sea to Sky (CDLX 7189)
This disc of music by David Matthews was a true surprise. It presents a range of pieces written between 1992 and 2006, most of them responses to landscape. The lively, fresh overture From Sea to Sky opens the disc, with jaunty woodwinds set off by string writing of great lyrical intensity. It is followed by A Congress of Passions, a cantata based on Sappho's poetry, for mezzo soprano, oboe, and string orchestra. This atmospheric work opens with a Sculthorpe-esque wounded cry of yearning, and the solo oboe (Ruth Bolister) winds sinuously round a voiceline (sung by Lucie Spickova) that shows the marked influence of Britten. The atonal but beautiful Movement of Autumn is rather like a modern English version of Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne, with a second movement that combines the traditional (rustic, pastoral woodwinds) with contemporary sounds, and a wild and dramatic fourth movement that again hints at Britten in the voiceline and occasionally suggests Peter Grimes (particularly the Sea Interludes) in the orchestration. The unbridled and slightly threatening Total Tango follows, its exoticism contrasting with the English string sound, and then The Sleeping Lord, in which moments of rare beauty emerge from the sea of sound effects like sun bursting from behind grey clouds. On the whole, I was thoroughly impressed with both Matthews's music and George Vass's expert direction (conducting Orchestra Nova).
Edwin York Bowen Piano Concerto Nos. 2 & 3 (CDLX 7187)
Containing the Second and Third Piano Concertos and the Symphonic Fantasia, this new Dutton release of works by York Bowen—perhaps one of our most unjustly neglected and underrated composers—is a must. The Second Piano Concerto ('Concertstück') was composed in 1905. It commences with a bold and dramatic first movement, full of virtuosic music. There follows a dreamy second movement, with a delicate opening that leads into a romantic theme and a noble climax. The final movement is toe-tappingly rousing and joyful, almost jazzy in places, with a solo piano part that rushes manically, switching at intervals to classical declamation. It leads to a cadenza before the orchestra join in again on a note of amusement, and the movement concludes with a grand coda. The Third Piano Concerto ('Fantasia'), composed two years later, features a lush first movement, with an exciting beginning that builds up tension. A tender and slightly mysterious second movement is followed by a finale that intersperses grand and imposing music with syncopated, jazzy sections. The disc ends with the exhilarating Symphonic Fantasia, a tone poem composed in the same year as the Second Piano Concerto. Although a romantic work, with hints of Wagner, Strauss and Bantock, it is never overblown or histrionic. Hints of Elgar appear, too, in both the lighter passages and some of the more serious sections. Colourfully orchestrated, the Fantasia alternates between the dramatic and the playful. All three of the pieces on this disc are brilliant works, superbly performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, with Michael Dussek as soloist and Vernon Handley as conductor.
Lyrita has been turning out some marvellous old recordings on a monthly basis, from Walter Leigh to Nicholas Maw and Richard Rodney Bennett. This recent release contains the Finzi Cello Concerto with Yo-Yo Ma, and John Denman's Clarinet Concerto. Vernon Handley conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Philharmonia Orchestra respectively, in wonderfully lyrical, sensitive, and sympathetic performances, with passionate playing by the soloists.
John Ireland Boult conducts Ireland (SRCD 241)
This John Ireland disc includes the Legend for piano and orchestra, the Satyricon overture, the passionate Piano Concerto, the jubilant These Things Shall Be (with the London Philharmonic Choir and John Carol Case), and Two Symphonic Studies. Convincing and atmospheric performances of all the pieces are given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra led by Sir Adrian Boult.
Frank Bridge Dance Rhapsody/Overture 'Rebus' (SRCD 243)
A new disc of works by Frank Bridge presents a range of music: the early, buoyant Dance Rhapsody, an exhilarating interpretation of Dance Poem, the contrasting Two Poems, and two later works, the overture Rebus, and the more astringent Allegro Moderato for string orchestra. Nicholas Braithwaite conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra on this superb release.
Walter Leigh Agincourt/Concertino for Harpsichord and Strings (SRCD 289)
This recording contains much charming and deftly-written music. The works include the well-crafted Agincourt, a lyrical and evocative piece commissioned by the BBC to celebrate George VI's coronation, the Concertino for harpsichord and strings (a brilliant, beautiful work with very attractive passages, superbly played by Trevor Pinnock on harpsichord), and the suite A Midsummer Night's Dream, written for a school performance. Here, stately movements are interspersed with lively and delicate dance numbers. Nicholas Braithwaite conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra (and, in Agincourt, the New Philharmonia Orchestra) in outstanding performances.
Hubert Parry/Gustav Holst/Ralph Vaughan Williams Ode on the Nativity/The Mystic Trumpeter/The Sons of Light (SRCD 270)
Some lesser-known works by several of the most prominent early twentieth-century composers comprise this disc. Vaughan Williams composed The Sons of Light in 1950. It is a cantata for chorus and orchestra, a setting of a text by his wife Ursula, and it will surprise those who think of Vaughan Williams solely as a pastoral composer. Sir David Willcocks conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bach Choir and Royal College of Music Chorus in a spirited performance of a striking work. Holst's glorious The Mystic Trumpeter (with a text by Walt Whitman) ensues. The work's sense of wonder and mystery is here captured excellently by Sheila Armstrong and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Atherton. The disc concludes with the Ode on the Nativity, a Christmas setting by Sir Hubert Parry of words by William Dunbar. It is a very mature work -- Parry was in his sixties when he wrote it— and yet it contains some passages of exquisite beauty and remarkable freshness. It is recorded in another excellent performance by Willcocks, the LPO, the Bach Choir and the Royal College of Music Chorus, with Teresa Cahill as soloist.
Gustav Holst Walt Whitman Overture (SRCD.210)
This is a very welcome Holst release, which steers clear of the famous works and focuses on more obscure pieces instead. The mystical American poet Walt Whitman appealed to and was set by a number of English composers, including Vaughan Williams, who drew significantly on Whitman for his Sea Symphony and Towards the Unknown Region, and Delius, who used a Whitman text in Sea Drift. Holst wrote his Walt Whitman Overture in 1899, seven years after Whitman's death. Although a fairly early work, it is nonetheless a fine piece, showing the influence of composers including Wagner, Brahms and Mendelssohn. It contains some extremely assured writing, as demonstrated in this confident, first-rate performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Braithwaite. It is followed by the beautiful Suite de Ballet, with its varied moods, from gossamer delicacy to ebullient dances and march-like music. It receives an evocative and sympathetic interpretation. The composer Gordon Jacob orchestrated the rest of the works on the disc: the Suite in E flat, A Hampshire Suite, and A Moorside Suite, which are probably better known in their original military/brass band versions. All of these are, as one might expect, jovial and buoyant works. Holst's immense skill is on full view here, not only for writing pieces that are rousing and full of character, consistently interesting as well as emotionally engaging, but also for often poignant interweaving of folksong melodies. These are all excellent performances of pieces that are well worth a listen.
Michael Tippett/Alan Rawsthorne/Benjamin Britten/Lennox Berkeley/Malcolm Arnold Divertimentos and Sinfoniettas (SRCD 257)
A disc of Divertimentos and Sinfoniettas by a range of composers commences with Tippett's Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra, a set of variations on the traditional tune Sellinger's Round, with witty quotations from composers such as Purcell, Arne, and Sullivan. A difficult work to play, it is here well handled by the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Norman Del Mar. This piece is followed by Rawsthorne's well-crafted and characterful Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra, and an incredibly assured Sinfonietta written by the precocious eighteen-year-old Britten. Next is Lennox Berkeley's polished Sinfonietta, and the disc is concluded by Malcolm Arnold's Sinfonietta. It opens with a lyrical first movement that occasionally threatens to develop into the theme tune from Last of the Summer Wine, and ends with a final movement in which the orchestra capture the great sense of fun in the work. Sparkling performances of this pleasing array of works are given by Del Mar conducting the English Chamber Orchestra, and Nicholas Braithwaite leading the London Symphony Orchestra.
Michael Head/David Bednall/Herbert Howells/Ivor Gurney Songs by Michael Head and Friends (LAMM179D)
Another noteworthy new release is this disc from Lammas of songs by Michael Head, Howells, Gurney, and David Bednall, who also accompanies tenor Richard Rowntree. Although not all of Head's songs are entirely convincing (and I could have wished for greater input from the other three composers), there is undeniably much pleasant music on this recording. Bednall's songs are most enjoyable-well-written and from the heart—and it is always good to hear Howells's King David and Gurney's two miniature masterpieces, Down by the Salley Gardens and Sleep. Rowntree has a pleasant light tenor with a husky edge, and Bednall is an extremely proficient and sympathetic accompanist. This release is definitely of interest to lovers of that gorgeous genre, English solo song.
Benjamin Britten Britten on Film (NMCD112)
NMC's Archive series has released this extremely interesting collection of music composed by Benjamin Britten to accompany short films, usually with words by Auden. The disc opens with the famous, incredibly effective and moving Night Mail, which is followed by the witty and amusing Rossini Suite for the film The Tocher, The King's Stamp (about the commemorative stamp designed for King George V's Silver Jubilee celebration), and Negroes --a title which was not offensive when the piece was written. Like Britten's opera Paul Bunyan, the latter is not the best example of Britten and Auden's collaboration. The fascinating and educative The Way to the Sea comes as a welcome relief after this, and contains some fantastic music. Three short works -- Telegrams (spoken and shouted by the Choir of King Edward's School, Birmingham), Peace of Britain, and Men Behind the Meters (for a film about British Gas!)— precede the more substantial Coal Face, which, using percussion, piano, and a chorus, formed the soundtrack for a film about mining. The disc finishes with the brilliant and brief song When You're Feeling Like Expressing Your Affection, with a flamboyant Mary Carewe (soprano), and Malcolm Wilson on piano. Martyn Brabbins conducts the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, and Simon Russell Beale provides the narration in these first-rate performances.
Ernest J. Moeran/Peter Warlock/Geoffrey Stern Strings in the Earth and Air (DRD0249)
Dunelm has recently released Strings in the Earth and Air, a collection of compositions by Ernest J. Moeran, Peter Warlock, and Geoffrey Stern sung by Paul Martyn-West, with piano accompaniment by Nigel Foster. Martyn-West has a soft-toned, evocative and pleasant voice, with superb enunciation and a well-controlled vibrato. His deep love and knowledge of English solo song shines through in this collection of songs which, although they sound deceptively simple, are actually not easy to pull off. Their very simplicity means that if they are to work, every nuance must be brought out, the tiniest inflection must be accurate, and each word must be invested with the right emotion. Martyn-West rises to the challenge brilliantly: listen to his convincing distress ("Uncle, dear Uncle, have you heard what I've done?") in The Shooting of his Dear, or the audible pain and anger at his horse's ill-treatment in I had a little pony. Whilst he shows himself perfectly capable of capturing sombre atmospheres, as in Warlock's Three Songs and a suitably dramatic and intense version of The Fox, he is particularly effective in the more boisterous numbers, such as The Bold 'Richard'. His characterisations are impressive and often amusing—notably his old woman in There was an old woman, and the wonderful petulance in I won't be my father's Jack—and his pacing is exceptional, neither lingering too long nor rushing, with dramatic pauses in How many miles to Babylon? He admirably captures the sense of fun in these and other songs from Candlelight, Warlock's cycle of nursery rhymes.
Geoffrey Stern, a fellow Warlockian, was a lecturer at the London School of Economics and presented the radio programmes 24 Hours and News Night. A great lover of English music, and particularly Moeran, he played jazz piano and composed a range of works, from songs and organ music to a substantial string quartet. The Stern songs presented here are individual, attractive and atmospheric, particularly Gentle Lady. The disc closes with a characterful performance of Stern's Legend.
Nigel Foster accompanies well and sympathetically throughout, and is particularly scintillating on There was a man of Thessaly. My only criticism is that the recorded sound does not do the performers justice. It is not warm or immediate enough, and on occasion the balance is not quite right: although the accompaniment is wonderfully snappy in The Bold 'Richard', it is slightly too loud to Martyn-West's too distant-sounding tenor. This release contains extensive programme notes by Martyn-West. They are informative, interesting and well-written, and include the texts to all the songs, although the art-work and design could have been more professional.
William Child/Henry Purcell/John Blow/Henry Lawes/Thomas Tallis/William Turner Music at the Coronation of King James II, 1685 (SIGCD094)
Wiliam Lawes/Matthew Locke/Jeremiah Clarke/William Lawes/John Blow/Christopher Simpson, etc. The Oxford Psalms (SIGCD093)
Last, but by no means least, are two discs from Signum Classics: Music at the Coronation of King James II, 1685, and The Oxford Psalms. The first recreates the music performed at the Coronation of James II and Queen Mary in 1685, in Westminster Abbey. It opens with an anthem by William Child, O Lord, grant the King a long life, and includes a number of other works by Child, as well as music by Purcell, John Blow, Henry Lawes, Tallis, and William Turner, some of it composed especially for the occasion. Appropriately enough, the Choir of the Chapel Royal and the Musicians Extra-Ordinary perform, and are directed by Andrew Gant. Kah-Ming Ng plays the chamber organ and harpsichord and directs Charivari Agréable on the Oxford Psalms disc, a collection of devotional works for three male voices, by composers with Oxford connections. The singers are Rodrigo Del Pozo and Simon Beston (tenors), and Nicholas Perfect (bass), and they are accompanied by Susanne Heinrich on bass viol and consort bass, and Richard Sweeney on theorbo. William Lawes, Purcell, John Blow, and William Child are represented on this disc as well, the latter with extracts from his First Set of Psalmes of III Voyces, while Matthew Locke, Jeremiah Clarke (with the heavenly Blest be those sweet regions), Christopher Simpson, Frances Withy, George Jeffreys and Albertus Bryne also feature. There is much lovely music on both discs, expertly sung and played. --Em Marshall