Mathias: Ave Rex; Elegy for a Prince; This Worlde’s Joie

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LABELS: Lyrita
WORKS: Ave Rex; Elegy for a Prince; This Worlde’s Joie
PERFORMER: Geraint Evans (bass-baritone), Janet Price (soprano), Kenneth Bowen (tenor), Michael Rippon (baritone)Welsh National Opera Chorus, LSO/David Atherton; Bach Choir, St George’s Choristers, New Philharmonia Orchestra/David Willcocks
William Mathias’s premature death was a serious loss to British music. He is admirably represented in all three works recorded here, which show how well his choral and symphonic idiom stands up, even though it clearly displays its post-Britten, post-Tippett pedigree. The popular carol sequence Ave Rex is adroitly managed by a large WNO chorus, while all three soloists in This Worlde’s Joie (Mathias’s Spring Symphony and The Seasons rolled into one) are superbly caught, as are the spirited Windsor boy choristers. The plum is Geraint Evans in Elegy for a Prince, a marvellous operatic scena which would disgrace neither King Priam nor Gloriana. Highly recommended.Roderic Dunnett