GMCD 7146 – Remembrance & Resurrection
The Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, Ian Curror – Director, Jeremy Filsell – Organ, Olivia Maffett & Julia Raeburn – Soprano Duet, Julia Raeburn – Soprano
From The OrganVol.77 No 305 Page 157
Founded in 1692 by King Charles II, the Royal Hospital at Chelsea has always employed a resident organist, nowadays also employing a professional choir to lead worship on Sundays and other important occasions.
Obviously, in an establishment for old or disabled soldiers, Remembrance is an important concept: those who live here have almost certainly lost friends and comrades in various armed conflicts. This CD appropriately records many works that are thus relevant to the Royal Hospital – Remembrance, moving on to music expressing the hope of the Resurrection.
Given the composers presented here, it is perhaps not difficult in one or two cases to guess the music performed. However, one or two are perhaps not quite suited to a choir of just some 12 singers: Vaughan-Williams’ choral masterpiece Valiant for Truth certainly needs a larger ensemble as does How lovely are Thy dwellings from Brahms’ German Requiem or Haydn’s Achieved is the Glorious work from The Creation.
Other works fare better such as Britten’s I have desired to go or Douglas Guest’s exquisite setting of Lawrence Binyon’s famous poem For the fallen. Perhaps surprisingly, the two hymns included also work well with such a small group, especially the concluding item of the CD, Ireland’s wonderful tune for the hymn My song is love unknown.
Sensitively accompanied, the choir really cannot be faulted, professional singing of high quality in a well chosen selection of music for Remembrance & Resurrection.