Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Director of Music: 
Andrew Nethsingha
Organ Scholar: 
Léon Charles
Release date: 
January 2012
Featuring: 
  • Francis Kelly (harp)
  • Cameron Sinclair (percussion)
  • Justin Lavender (tenor)
Record label: 
SJCR
Catalogue number: 
SJCR 105-2

The recording takes as its tagline 'Music for Choir and Harp' and at its core are three substantial works: Bernstein's Chichester Psalms in its 'chamber' version for choir, organ, harp and percussion; a setting of the Lord's Prayer by Leoš Janáček, Otčenáš; and A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, in its arrangement by Julian Harrison for SATB, rather than the original version with three treble parts.

Produced by David Lowe
Edited by John Rutter

Janáček's Otčenáš recently featured on Aled Jones's The Choir (BBC Radio 3).

Track list
  1. Chichester Psalms, Bernstein
  2. Aria in Classic Style for Harp and Organ, Grandjany
  3. Otčenáš, Janáček
  4. Improvisations, Mathias
  5. A Ceremony of Carols, Britten arr. Harrison
A highly enjoyable disc ... idiomatic performances under Nethsingha's expert direction with great clarity of textures.

Choir and Organ

The polished sound of the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge (including some very accomplished treble soloists) under the meticulous direction of Andrew Nethsingha.

Gramophone

The Choir sounds on good form under Andrew Nethsingha's direction...well supported by the organist Léon Charles and harpist Frances Kelly...The treble solo is nicely poised at the start of the second movement [of the Bernstein] and the violent eruption ('Why do the nations rage')...is suitably crisp and aggressive...This St John's performance [of the Britten] is as good as it's going to get... It's well recorded, with sound that has real impact at the same time as putting plenty of space around the voices.

International Record Review

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Recorded on
12 July 2019

 

Introit: Howells A Hymn for St Cecilia
Responses and Preces: Radcliffe
Psalm 139 vv. 1–18, 23–24 (Skeats)
Stanford in C
Tavener: The Lord’s Prayer
Parry: Hear my words, ye people
Hymn 408(i)
Voluntary: Parry Fantasia and Fugue in G

Latest news

Andrew Nethsingha discusses the significance of Tippett's St John's Service, a work which demonstrates a fresh, vivid and original take on the Evening Canticles. Read along whilst listening to Tippett's 'Magnificat' from the Choir's forthcoming album, now available on Spotify.

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer