Chorus vel Organa
Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
Geoffrey Webber director, Magnus Williamson organ.
There is much to be celebrated here as early music scholarship inspires joyful performances from the Choir of Gonville & Caius College. The album presents pre-Reformation liturgical music for the Feast of St Stephen (26th December) alongside plainsong and its alternatives; chanting in chords, faburden and organ improvisations. Consequently, the jewel in this particular crown is the St Teilo organ, a reconstruction in the early English 16th-century style following research from John Harper at Bangor University’s “The Experience of Worship” project. Organist, Magnus Williamson, revives improvisatory techniques appropriate for both plainsong and polyphony leading to an album whose polyphonic delights are embedded in a liturgical soundscape likely to reflect practice in the chapel of St Stephen during Henry VIII’s reign.
To read the full text of this review please visit www.gramophone.co.uk (August 2016)