This is the third collection in Hyperion's laudable English Hymn series and while it is very welcome, one cannot but feel that this is slightly over milking the good cow! There are 23 short pieces in the collection which include some singular contributions to be sung in various times in the Church calendar.
One would be pretty hard pressed to choose a favourite amongst such munificence, yet I am always very fond of the lovely carol, "O little town of Bethlehem" and that would take my vote this time round! The tunes are all of quite a glorious nature through and through whilst the concluding fanfares in the Pentecost hymnal definitely show the greatness and purity of this lovely season that is quite drenched with optimism.
You wouldn't be too enthusiastic after listening to all the hymns in one go, perhaps but taken in doses of three or four, the compilation is quite truly irresistible. The Wells Cathedral acoustic is quite excellently pruned for the job whilst Gough and Archer have the music in their blood. The stupendous photography on the front cover is also a delightful addendum to buy! Collectors of the series will obviously want to purchase immediately. Newcomers to the wonderful field of such fresh beauty would also be advised to find the cash without delay!
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech