Released February 2007 (Hyperion CDA67593)
Undisputed masterpieces and lesser-known gems feature in this comprehensive survey of Edward Elgar’s sacred choral music.
Great is the Lord
They are at rest
Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode
The Spirit of the Lord (The Apostles)
O salutaris hostia
Ave verum corpus
Ecce sacerdos magnus
O hearken thou
Give unto the Lord
The Choir of Westminster Abbey
Robert Quinney organ
James O’Donnell conductor
Elgar from the Abbey—what could be more fitting? From the regal opulence of Great is the Lord, first performed in Westminster Abbey in 1912, to the quiet devotion of the opus 2 Ave verum and Ave Maria, this varied programme is the perfect guide through Elgar’s rich choral output.
The full gamut of Elgar’s career—from son of provincial instrument dealer to ‘composer laureate’—is represented, and there is also a rare performance of the long-forgotten Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode—a fitting tribute by Poet Laureate (John Masefield) and Master of the King’s Musick (Elgar) to Edward VII’s much-lamented consort.
"The Abbey Choir […] give an excellent account of themselves, the trebles especially singing with the confidence of professional musicianship and with voices in fine, generous bloom […] Robert Quinney is a tremendous asset: an organist who puts his technical skill to imaginative use, sometimes … to vivid effect."
"The Westminster Abbey Choir delivers its organ-accompanied programme with beautiful tonal colour and blend."
- BBC Music Magazine
"James O'Donnell never lets a detail pass or an effect count for nothing; likewise the Westminster Abbey Choir."
- Classic FM Magazine
"These choral works can be judged as small masterpieces."
- Classics Today
It’s very hard not to be enthusiastic working at the Abbey. If this place doesn’t make you smile I don’t know what will.