The Organ

CEREMONY: The Canterbury Collection

CEREMONY: The Canterbury Collection
Choir of Canterbury Cathedral
David Flood with Camilla Pay (harp) and Tim Harper (organ)
YORK CD 202 62'28"

The procession at the start of Britten's Ceremony of Carols creates atmosphere as singing choristers are heard drawing near in this CD that will appeal particularly to those with Canterbury links. The trebles revel in the chanting and the 'alleluias' and 'welcoms' of the mediaeval lyrics, and they put emotion into lullabies. But This Little Babe makes less impact, probably because the composer rushed over Southwell's ingenious imagery. Camilla Pay's harp enhances the sense of ritual. Lift Thine Eyes has serenity, if not quite enough bottom line, and in Hear My Prayer, Joel Whitewood takes the solo, partnering George Inscoe in I waited. After Mendelssohn comes a routine account of Stanford's Evening Canticles in G. Though Barber's Agnus Dei seems laboured and Noon's Evocation to a Friend sounds over-complex, vocal lines are neatly handled in Michael McGlynn's Maria Matrem Virginem. CNS