Reviews

GMCD 7105 – The Glory of St. George’s

The Choir of St. George’s Chapel Windsor, Christopher Robinson – Director, John Porter – Organ

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Fanfare, July/August 1995, Vol. 18, no. 6

I really loved this disc, and it may be difficult to explain why. An inveterate explorer of churches, I’ve learned that nothing enhances my aesthetic pleasure so much as appropriate background music. (The first time I walked into the astonishing cathedral of Siena, the organist immediately struck up, of all things, Jesu joy of man’s desiring and sent me right into architectural orgasm.)
The Chapel of St. George, Windsor, the burial place of English kings, is distinguished by its soaring fan-vaulting and superb perpendicular gothic windows. When it’s not infested by tourists, its ambience is both tranquil and uplifting. Listening to this disc of choral music brings back the smell of incense and candle wax, and the serenity a quiet church induces. I’m not a religious man, but I still can’t begin to understand the modern mania for deritualization, which flattens the soul and brings the sky crashing down. The last thing we need is to become more mundane.
The St. George’s Choir comprises sixteen boys and twelve Lay Clerks (four altos, tenors, and basses). They stand and sing these simple, tuneful pieces with vigour and conviction. Their words are remarkably clear, and the few solo phrases are well handled. The choral timbre- might grow pallid in the more demanding music of Bach or Handel, but in these forthright, mostly English pieces, it has found its perfect context
The organ is always supportive and often thrilling. The only thing that disappoints me slightly is that the spirituals from A Child of Our Time are sung a cappella. I wish the organ had tried to simulate Tippett’ s orchestral accompaniments, which make them even more moving.
The recording was made in 1982, but don’t let the ADD designation put you off. The sound is glorious. Texts and notes are supplied.
Ralph V. Lucano

The Boy Choir Symposium @ treble.org

The Glory of St. George’s. Various Composers. The Choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor (credited treble soloist(s): none.) with organ: John Porter / Christopher Robinson. Guild Music Limited © 1995 (recorded 1982) / ADD (GMCD 7105).
In the realm of recordings, St. George’s is perhaps one of the more neglected choirs in the Anglican cathedral tradition. The choir, composed of 16 choristers and 12 lay clerks, has been singing services at Windsor for over 600 years. This album is a fine showcase for the boys’ voices (and the chapel organ), which resound nicely in the Windsor acoustic. The performances are very good overall and work to highly recommend this album. Chris Robinson manages to work in one of his own compositions.
Performance
Sound