English Visionaries – Vaughan Williams: A Vision of Aeroplanes; Prayer to the Father of Heaven; Mass in G minor, Lord, Thou hast been our refuge; Holst: The Evening Watch, Op 43 No 1; Sing me the Men, Op 43 No 2; Howells: The House of the Mind

Reviewed on Fri 11 Nov, 2016

Impeccable singing throughout deftly accommodates the Tudor accents of Vaughan Williams’s G minor Mass, his restlessly chromatic A Vision of Aeroplanes an intense and involving experience.

The partnership between the student voices of the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir and Somm Recordings goes from strength to strength on this fifth release. With Paul Spicer again at the helm, this collection of sacred music by three English visionaries is as revealing as their recording of Stanford’s Partsongs (reviewed 14 October 2013), as rapt as their survey of Barber’s Choral Works (reviewed 9 November 2015). Impeccable singing throughout deftly accommodates the Tudor accents of Vaughan Williams’s G minor Mass, his restlessly chromatic A Vision of Aeroplanes an intense and involving experience. Howells’s contemplative The House of the Mind is delivered with sensuous concern for its blending of vocal registers, Holst’s contrapuntal twins The Evening Watch and Sing me the Men ethereally and robustly realised. Vaughan Williams’s Lord, Thou hast been our refuge is sublimely done and provides a moving conclusion to a rewarding disc. Excellent sound as always with Somm.
–Michael Quinn