Thursday, 25 March 2010

Sir John Stainer: The Crucifixion

Sir John STAINER (1840-1901)
The Crucifixion (1887)
Andrew Kennedy (tenor); Neal Davies (bass); Darius Battiwalla (organ)
Huddersfield Choral Society/Joseph Cullen
English text included
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD176 [62:09]

Like many people I guess, I have sung in the chorus of Sir John Stainer’s Crucifixion a number of times. I was never one of those people who despised this work simply because it was Victorian: in fact it was one of the pieces that led me into a deeper appreciation of Parry, Stanford and other Victorian and Edwardian composers. For that I am grateful. Furthermore i was ‘brought up’ on Stainer’s Organ Tutor: however I never did manage to play the final Prelude and Fugue in that volume!

John Quinn has given a great review of this new recording from the Huddersfield Choral Society on Signum Classics – with one or two minor reservation.
He begins his review by noting that "Sir John Stainer’s compositions have rather fallen out of fashion nowadays though The Crucifixion retains a place in the English choral repertoire and some of his church music is still sung by cathedral and parish church choirs. However, as the good booklet essay that accompanies this CD reminds us, he was a very significant and influential figure in Victorian musical circles ..."
After a detailed review, he concludes by suggesting that “this is a fine and convincing account of Stainer’s sincere and durable Passion piece”.

Please read John Quinn’s excellent review on MusicWeb International.

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