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This mixed bag of a programme from the Purcell Singers ranges from Elgar (a characterful account of the popular My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land) to Eric Whitacre’s When David Heard, by way of Barber’s Agnus Dei, Howells’s Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing, and Britten’s Five Flower Songs, among others. The conducting is shared out between Messrs Ford and Schranz. The Purcell Singers make a pleasing, well-blended sound, beautifully showcased on many tracks on this CD, but perhaps nowhere more so than in James Erb’s arrangement of Shenandoah. On a very few occasions does their tone start to grate – for example, at the climax of Barber’s arrangement of his own Adagio for strings – but more often than not they create a very special choral magic, such as in Morten Lauridsen’s popular O magnum mysterium.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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