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Composer or Director: Edward Elgar. This has come up like new; a most refreshing record, and one that might easily have been put into the vaults never to rise again. Its special attraction is the sound of the Worcester Cathedral Choir: the choir, that is, of the s, when the trebles had a distinctive brightness of tone and indeed of manner. In the Bavarian Highlands they actually get a smile into their voices and impart a feeling that they are singing for pleasure—which they may well be, for the music was no doubt a welcome change from Brewer in E flat to which no disrespect!
The whole choir, then under Christopher Robinson, sing with spirit and sensitivity, preserving quality at a forte and a good blend always. As for the songs themselves, they are delightful: as Percy Young says in Elgar O.
Timothy Hooke, writer of the insert-note, is probably right when he says that Elgar must have been thinking orchestrally when he wrote the piano accompaniments, yet these have their own charm, that of a more intimate, sociable kind of music-making, in keeping with the songs themselves.
Certainly Frank Wibaut succeeds to a remarkable extent in making them sound pianistic. The record has other claims. The first of the three settings of O salutaris hostia was transcribed by Timothy Hooke from manuscript and, as he says, may even have had here its first performance. The second has an unpublished organ prelude restored, and the Tantum ergo has been reconstructed from sketches and incomplete parts.
These are all early pieces the first from c. Ecce sacerdos magnus is more impressive, but is edited by A. Tozer, of whose work Elgar was known to be critical. The clean directness of recorded sound is a further attraction. Follow us.
Elgar Choral Works
He wrote it for the Hour of Lauds in the Divine Office. It is actually the last two stanzas of the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens , and is used for the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The other two hymns written by Aquinas for the Feast contain the famous sections Panis angelicus and Tantum ergo. As a liturgical text, the hymn is usually sung in Latin. There are however some cases in which it is found sung in the vernacular.
Elgar E - O salutaris hostia (no 1)
More by Edward Elgar
More by Edward Elgar