Allegri, Byrd, Moore, PŠrt, Casals, Harvey, Lotti, Tallis, Holst, Rossini & John IV of Portugal

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Allegri,Byrd,Casals,Harvey,Holst,Lotti,Moore,Part,Rossini & John IV of Portugal,Tallis
LABELS: St John’s College
ALBUM TITLE: Meditation
WORKS: Works by Allegri, Byrd, Moore, Pärt, Casals, Harvey, Lotti, Tallis, Holst, Rossini & John IV of Portugal
PERFORMER: Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge/David Hill
As far as I am concerned (and there will be as many ayes as noes, here), the red carpet should be rolled out for St John’s of all the Cambridge college choirs. Its legacy of recordings made over the years contains many indisputable gems, but also serves to set the height of the bar for the present disc. Meditation is impressive, but the best is surely yet to come from its (very) new director, David Hill. A full and muscular tone is the norm, to the extent that there is a ‘smash and grab’ quality to some of these performances. I would have loved to hear more quiet singing in the Allegri Miserere and Lotti Crucifixus, though there are also moments of tranquillity, as in the magical opening of the Holst Nunc dimittis. Personally, I miss the compelling musical intention that shone through the St John’s choir under Christopher Robinson, though Hill’s fuller sound will appeal to some. There is a something of Robinson’s word-led magic about the Rossini O salutaris, which is beautifully shaped. I look forward to hearing the fruits of Hill’s mature relationship with this choir as it moves into an exciting new partnership with Hyperion. William Whitehead