From the regal opulence of Great is the Lord, first performed in Westminster Abbey in 1912, to the quiet devotion of the Opus 2 Ave verum and Ave Maria, this varied programme is the perfect guide through Elgar’s rich choral output.
The full gamut of Elgar’s career – from son of a provincial instrument dealer to ‘composer laureate’ – is represented and at every turn these performers offer new insights into the performing possibilities of these all-too-often-hackneyed works. There is also a rare performance of the long-forgotten Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode – a fitting tribute by Poet Laureate (John Masefield) and Master of the King’s Music (Elgar) to Edward VII’s much-lamented consort.
“The Westminster Abbey Choir delivers its organ-accompanied programme with beautiful tonal colour and blend.” - BBC Music Magazine
“The Abbey Choir … give an excellent account of themselves, the trebles especially singing with the confidence of professional musicianship and with voices in fine, generous bloom … Robert Quinney is a tremendous asset: an organist who puts his technical skill to imaginative use, sometimes … to vivid effect.” - Gramophone
“James O'Donnell never lets a detail pass or an effect count for nothing; likewise the Westminster Abbey Choir. Rarities, such as the Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode of 1932, receive equal care and attention … Above all, this disc projects Elgarian grandeur and dignity” - Classic FM Magazine