Britten: A Ceremony of Carols; Hymn to St Cecilia; Sacred and Profane; Rejoice in the Lamb

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Britten
LABELS: Classics for Pleasure
WORKS: A Ceremony of Carols; Hymn to St Cecilia; Sacred and Profane; Rejoice in the Lamb
PERFORMER: Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse
CATALOGUE NO: 5 73721 2 Reissue (1992)
An enjoyable collection of Britten’s choral works, including a particularly fine account of the all too rarely heard Sacred and Profane. A late work (1974), it plays to the strengths of the Vasari Singers, namely taut dynamic pacing and control of even the most delicate details. Despite tentative soloists, Rejoice in the Lamb is similarly stylish, but A Ceremony of Carols suffers from a surfeit of refinement and polish. Although there is no reason why the work should be restricted to trebles (the premiere used women’s voices), this performance lacks the sense of glee that children bring to the occasion. Christopher Dingle

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