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There Is Sweet Music: English Choral Songs, 1890 - 1950

Cambridge Singers , John Rutter Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $12.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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There Is Sweet Music: English Choral Songs, 1890 - 1950 + Olde English Madrigals + The Sprig of Thyme: Traditional Songs
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Product Details

  • Performer: Cambridge Singers, John Rutter
  • Audio CD (February 25, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collegium
  • ASIN: B00006O0OB
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,267 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Stanford: Partsongs Op. 119 No 3, Bluebird
2. Delius: To be sung of a summer night on the water, 2 songs for chorus
3. Elgar: Partsongs for chorus, Op.53 No 1, There Is Sweet Music
4. Elgar: My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land for Chorus, Op.18, No. 3
5. Vaughan-Williams: Shakespeare Songs for chorus
6. Moeran: The Sailor and Young Nancy, for chorus
7. Traditional: Brigg Fair
8. Irish Traditional: Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
9. Anon.: The Three Ravens
10. Anon.: My Sweetheart's Like Venus
11. Anon.: The Oak and the Ash
12. Stanford: Quick! We Have But A Second for chorus
13. Britten: Flower Songs for SATB chorus, Op. 47

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How sweet it is September 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This disc is a bit different from many of the Cambridge Singers' discs in that it is exclusively secular songs. This was recorded at the Great Hall of University College School, London, in 1986, and originally released on vinyl. I cannot find an analog/digital code (many vinyl originals were first recorded in analog and then transferred to digital, sometimes clumsily) - despite this, the recording quality is crisp, clear, and vibrant.

--Music--

The music here is simply gorgeous. English musical tradition is long in the area of folk songs, but there was a waning of folk songs during Georgian and Victorian times. Also, despite the tradition of choral music which has been strong in England continuously, there was a definite resurgence of interest with the advent of the Oxford Movement in the nineteenth century.

The music here represents the work of many prominent English composers - Vaughan Williams, Holst, Britten, Delius, Stanford, and Elgar; others whose names are less well known generally are also represented, such as Moeran, Grainger, Chapman, and Bairstow. Vaughan Williams is represented in his setting of three Shakespeare texts to music ('Full Fathom Five', 'The cloud-capp'd towers', and 'Over Hill, Over Dale'). Britten is represented with Five Flower Songs. The title piece comes from a text chosen by Elgar - 'There is sweet music', according to Rutter, demonstrates a wonderful ability to match words to music in a way he describes as uncanny.

There is poetry in the texts and in the music here.

--Liner Notes--

The notes for this recording include the titles and words of each song together with source citations. There is also a brief essay on this musical period in English history.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something about British Choral Music... July 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It is such pleasure to see this re-release of 1986 recording by John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers from the Great Hall of University College School, London. The original recording has long been a favorite of legions of devotees of the British Choral tradition and this collection remains one of the finest samplings of significant a capella songs available.

Opening with the hauntingly simple and beautiful 'The blue bird' by CV Stanford (to whom this album was dedicated), the tone of the CD is set as a stroll through the mists and bogs of the English countryside. Songs by Frederick Delius (one featuring the then unappreciated tenor soloist Mark Padmore!), Edward Elgar, various folk songs beautifully arranged for four-part chorus, the 'Five Flower Songs' by Benjamin Britten, and finally the extraordinary 'Three Shakespeare Songs' set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams are all included in this generous recital.

Vaughan Williams songs are brief but immaculately written choral works. 'Full fathom five' and 'The cloud-capped towers' find all the mystery in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' while 'Over hill, over dale' is the quintessential musical rendering of the fairies frolics from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Rutter and the Cambridge Singers are splendid and the acoustic of the recording hall adds just the right amount of resonance to complete the magic of these songs. Highly recommended! Grady Harp, July 05
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably gorgeous April 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is one of my all-time favorite choral CDs -- from start to finish, the harmonies are gorgeous, the mood contemplative, and the singing (as usual with the Cambridge Singers) is inspired. The title track is stunning, and the Londonderry Air is one of the most beautiful wordless arrangements you'll ever hear. I also love "The Oak and the Ash," although it's hard to pick favorites on such a uniformly wonderful CD. I myself am a serious singer, and this is the kind of music that keeps me coming back to rehearsals. Buy it, you will definitely never regret it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite choral CD in the world January 27, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Soaring, gentle, a cappella, and (largely) late-romantic English choral gems ("folk-songs, airs and ballads") sung by Cambridge Singers with exquisite tone, shaped with a celestial sensitivity by John Rutter (solely in his role as conductor). I would have been happier if the disc had ended with Bairstow's "The oak and the ash," as the remaining tracks --"Quick we have but a second" of Stanford, and Britten's Five Flower Songs -- strike me as a jarring departure from the feel of the rest of the disc. But the earlier selections are just incomparably sung.

This is my favorite choral disc in the whole world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music. April 21, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful CD. I hear the song "There is Sweet Music" on public radio and enjoyed it so much that I went searching for it. I was not disappointed in the collection on the CD
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