Stainer: Crucifixion / Kay, Hill, George, Bbc

Album cover art
Label: CHANDOS
Catalog: CHAN9551
Format: CD

Martyn Hill (tenor), Michael George (bass), Margaret Philips (organ) BBC Singers, Leith Hill Festival Singers, Brian Kay

“Stainer's Crucifixion unfolds with a seamless ease, never jolting the listener with gratuitous theatricality or the type of rhetorical intensity which the English find mildly embarrassing. The emotional engagement here is about an unintrusive sobriety, affected by a glowing sentimental identification with the Saviour's plight. One has to admire Stainer for writing a challenging work of sensible length which, without an orchestra, is achievable and satisfying for a capable parish choir: Stainer's Crucifixion is a celebration of amateurism, that cherished English virtue. Brian Kay has worked a great deal with committed amateurs, in this case the Leith Hill Festival Singers, the festival of which he's director. There's an underlying freshness of expression here, of singers with eyes and ears on stalks and a real sense of purpose. They are fortified by the excellent BBC Singers. Margaret Phillips's imaginative, genial registrations, not to mention her skilful accompaniment, provide notable support to the fine contributions of the solosits. An unselfregarding and genuine performance.”

Price: $19.98