Released on 31 December 2003
Orlando Gibbons: Second Service and Consort Anthems with the Choir of Magdalen College Oxford, Bill Ives (director), Jonathan Hardy (organ), Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold, Peter Harvey, Stephen Connolly (voice)
The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford and Fretwork give sumptuous, vital performances that capture the essence of Gibbons’ unique, harmonically rich music, and the solo singing–especially from the countertenors and trebles–is nothing short of wonderful. After years of listening to and performing Gibbons’ church music, I can truly say that at last here’s a recording that does full justice to these splendid yet often routinely rendered scores, and although it may be too early to make such pronouncements, this definitely is a disc-of-the-year contender.
David Vernier, Classics Today
Magdalen College had early links with that master of early 17th C English music, Orlando Gibbons, and so this disc, presenting his Second Service alongside a selection of his exquisite verse anthems, is particularly apposite. This is English choral singing of the first rank, enhanced by the yearning strings of our leading viol consort. Breathtaking.
Andrew Clarke, The Independent
Catalogue number: HMU 907337