Elin Manahan Thomas / Conventus / English Chamber Orchestra - Patrick Hawes: Song of Songs

Elin Manahan Thomas / Conventus / English Chamber Orchestra - Patrick Hawes: Song of Songs
Album:
Patrick Hawes: Song of Songs
Duration:
59:30
Genre:
Styles:
Choral
Release Date:
April 27, 2009

British composer Patrick Hawes (born in 1958) seems to inhabit an aesthetic niche similar to that of John Rutter; his range encompasses both "serious" choral composition and a more pop-influenced style -- a kind of "classical lite" that seems targeted at crossover audiences -- and this album includes examples of both. At one end of the spectrum, Song of Songs, six settings from the Song of Solomon, bring Karl Jenkins to mind, facile and sentimental, but relentlessly pretty, geared to appeal to fans of pop music that has a mildly classical flavor. They are scored for chorus and soprano soloist, with occasional other soloists, accompanied by strings. The choral parts are straightforward enough to put them within the range of many church choirs, an audience for whom they seem intended, but the solo part is so outrageously high that it is unlikely it could be managed by an amateur performer. Even Elin Manahan Thomas, who has a light, pleasing voice, is sometimes reduced to squeaking, trying to negotiate Hawes' unrealistic demands. On the other hand, When Israel Was a Child and O Lord Our Governor, for chorus and organ, and the lovely a cappella Vauday Part Songs, are substantial works, disciplined and richly imagined. Overall, the performances of Manahan, the other soloists, Hawes' own choral ensemble Conventus, organist Roger Sayer, and the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer, make as strong as possible a case for the music. The sound is present and clean.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Song of Songs, for voice, chorus & orchestra
Love's PromiseConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:08
RhapsodyConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:16
Many WatersConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas2:59
Faint with LoveConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas4:07
Love's EchoConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:54
Song of SongsConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:01
Perfect Love, for chorusConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas4:02
When Israel was a Child, for chorus & organConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas7:22
The Lord's Prayer, for voice & chorusConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:40
O Lord Our Governor, for chorus & organConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas5:14
The Vauday Part Songs, for chorus
The OaksConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:19
StoneConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:21
The CarriagewayConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas3:19
In MemoriamConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas4:25
Toccata, for organConventus / English Chamber Orchestra / Elin Manahan Thomas4:23

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