Jesus Lopez-Cobos / Simon Preston
Poulenc, Saint-Saens: Choral Works (CD)
Camille Saint-Saëns was only 21 years of age when he wrote his Mass Op.4, but the craftsmanship of both its vocal and instrumental writing, testifies to the accomplishment of an experienced composer at a tender age. The recording reissued here was made for Decca in February 1978 by the Choir of Worcester Cathedral under their long-standing organist and choirmaster, Donald Hunt.
Among French composers of the following generation, Francis Poulenc was unusual in combining an irreverent attitude towards musical tradition and authority with a Catholic faith much deeper and more sincere than that of Saint-Saëns. This bore fruit in several liturgical collections including four motets for Christmas-tide, recorded in April 1973 by the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, during Simon Preston’s tenure as their Music Director.
The joyful, festive theme of this unique compilation is continued by the Gloria which Poulenc wrote late in life. This is a digital recording from 1982, made in the classic Decca venue of Victoria Hall, Geneva, home to the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande.
Sylvia Greenberg, soprano
Wayne Williams, tenor
Chœur de la Radio Suisse Romande
Chœur Pro Arte de Lausanne
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël
Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Messe à quatre voix, Op. 4
Simon Colston, treble
Anthony de Rivaz & John Vickers, countertenors
Trevor Owen, tenor
Brian Harvye, bass
Roy Massey, grand orgue
Paul Trepte, petit orgue
Worcester Cathedral Choir