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This is the day

Music for Royal Occasions

The Cambridge Singers | Aurora Orchestra
John Rutter (conductor)

CD: £14.00
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This album recollects and celebrates some of the choral music heard on royal occasions during the lifetime of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The music chosen reflects the personal choices and commissions by the Royal Family for weddings, funerals, and anniversaries.

Featuring John Rutter’s celebratory royal wedding anthem This is the Day, written for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in 2011. Orchestrated specially for this recording, it reminds us of the event that captivated the attention of the nation.

The CD also includes a new arrangement for unaccompanied choir of the much-loved Air from County Derry to the text I would be True, and an orchestration of Schubert’s beautiful Psalm 23 - The Lord is my Shepherd by John Rutter for this recording.

Track list

  1. This is the day (Rutter)
  2. Laudate Dominum: Vesperae solennes de confessore, K339 (Mozart)
  3. Psalm 23 (Schubert)
  4. How lovely is thy dwelling place (Brahms)
  5. The spirit of the Lord is upon me (Elgar)
  6. We wait for thy loving kindness (William McKie)
  7. Ubi caritas (Paul Mealor)
  8. Ubi caritas (Duruflé)
  9. Holy is the true light (Harris)
  10. Song for Athene (Tavener)
  11. These Three (Richard Rodney Bennett)
  12. Set me as a seal upon thine heart (Walton)
  13. God be in my head (Walford Davies)
  14. I would be true (arr. Rutter)
  15. Touch her soft lips and part (Walton)
  16. Choral Dances from Gloriana: Time (Britten)
  17. Choral Dances from Gloriana: Concord (Britten)
  18. Choral Dances from Gloriana: Time and Concord (Britten)
  19. Choral Dances from Gloriana: Country Girls (Britten)
  20. Choral Dances from Gloriana: Rustics and Fishermen (Britten)
  21. Choral Dances from Gloriana: Final Dance of Homage (Britten)
  22. Let the Bright Seraphim and Let their celestial concerts all unite (Handel)

“Light, joyous, and beautifully performed, this is sacred choral easy listening of the highest standard…” BBC Music Magazine

“… Their tone throughout is burnished and pitch-perfect, and the lower voices have a pleasantly operatic weight that provides a counterbalance to the occasionally thin upper lines…” Choir & Organ

“Reflecting the Royal Family’s personal choices and commissions for weddings, funerals and anniversaries over the past 60 years, This Is the Day is a diverse and well-balanced mix of mostly British works such as Britten’s Choral Dances from Gloriana, performed at the 1953 coronation, and Mealor’s Ubi Caritas, another of the contemporary works from the most recent royal wedding. Handel, Harris, Tavener and Rodney Bennett are some of the other composers featured. Recorded in London’s Temple Church and in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, it’s all beautifully sung. Elin Manahan Thomas performs Mozart’s Laudate Dominum with effortless grace, whilst the Cambridge Singers are chameleon-like in their ability to take on different musical styles, from Edwardian chorale-style reverence in Walford Davies’ God Be in My Head, to the lightly syncopated easy listening style of their director the next. Rutter’s tempi also feel spot on, with works such as Tavener’s Song for Athene given the space they need to breathe, and works such as Duruflé’s Ubi Caritas taken at an easy forward-feeling momentum, but not so much as to lose the impression of spiritual reverence. The Aurora Orchestra accompany with all their habitual verve and sparkle.” BBC Music

“The unifying theme behind this album is clear from its title; these are pieces that have been used in services at a variety of turning points in the lives of the British monarchy during the lifetime of Elizabeth II, including mostly weddings, but also her coronation and wedding anniversary, and the funerals of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. It’s an apt tribute in 2013, the year of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of her coronation. The album offers just what would be expected of the Cambridge Singers, led by John Rutter: expert, sensitive performances of serene, comforting anthems. Even the most astringent selections, several of Britten’s Choral Dances from Gloriana, should still fall within most listeners’ comfort zone. The choir sings with its characteristic warmth, velvety legato phrasing, and technical precision. Elin Manahan Thomas brings a light, chaste soprano to two arias, Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, and Handel’s Let the bright seraphim.” AllMusic

“This recording…is a newly recorded selection of music heard at royal events over the past eight decades. The programme starts with This is the Day, the anthem written by John Rutter for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton last year. The Cambridge Singers, outstandingly fresh and communicative throughout under John Rutter’s expert, energising direction, excel particularly in a superbly buoyant, incisive performance of the ‘Choral Dances’ from Britten’s Gloriana. In the quieter, more introspective Holy is the true light by William Harris they maintain a laudable internal balance and unanimity of purpose. The concisely informative booklet notes, including full texts and documentation, are exemplary. Of its type, this is a virtually unimproveable collection.” BBC Music Magazine

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