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The Immortal Air Anglican Cathedral Music
The Choirs of the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, New Mexico
. . . a standing ovation! reviews Classical Music Sentinel - [OAR-954]

Choirs of the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque
Maxine Thévenot, Director of Cathedral Music & Organist

Edmund Connolly and Stephen Tharp, Organists

". . .
a standing ovation!" see review in Classical Music Sentinel below.

Gerald Finzi: God is gone up
James MacMillan: A New Song
Philip Moore: Bread of the world First Recording
Philip Moore: Listen to the song of the children First Recording
Maxine Thévenot: Introit "Here I am Lord" First Recording
Gerald Near: Holy is the true light
John Ireland: Greater love hath no man
Henry Balfour Gardiner: Evening Hymn
Herbert Howells: A Hymn for St. Cecilia
Charles Villiers Stanford: Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G
Andrew Ager: Te Deum Laudamus First Recording
Philip Ledger: Jubilate Deo
William Harris: Holy is the true light
Ludwig Lenel (arr.): All praise to God
Bruce Neswick: I will set his dominion in the sea

The Immortal Air -- Introduction
by Maxine Thevenot

"Sing for the morning's joy, Cecilia, sing,... lend us a fragment of the immortal air, that with your choiring angels we may share..." - A Hymn for St. Cecilia (Ursula Vaughan Williams)

For the past several years, the Cathedral Choirs have sung an end-of-season concert titled Great Hymns & Anthems. This is always a popular event as folks gather to hear anthems they've heard in liturgies over the past year. The works on this recording include many of our favorite anthems, commissioned works through our Friends of Cathedral Music program, and four premiere recordings.

This recording includes settings of two of the most commonly-used morning canticles (Te Deum and Jubilate Deo), as well as a setting of the evening canticles, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis. Settings of the canticles have played a prominent part in Anglican liturgies since the Reformation. The canticles have afforded the greatest opportunity for musical development within the Anglican rite. The stylistic foundations of the settings most familiar today stem from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We include those firm foundations as well as settings cast in the twenty-first century.

Our Cathedral Choristers continue to develop and thrive and through the past few years have become more integrated with our Cathedral Choir. We believe in investing in the future of our Cathedral's musical life and outreach in the hopes that future generations will continue to enjoy these wonderful anthems and canticles of our church.

Cathedral Commissions
Through the Friends of Cathedral Music, the Cathedral commissions new choral works written for the Cathedral Choirs as part of the Cathedral Commissions program. The commissioning scheme began in 2006 with a new work by the American composer Stephen Paulus. Since then, commissioned composers have included Judith Bingham, David Arcus, Tarik O'Regan, Anthony Piccolo, David Briggs, Andrew Ager, Philip Moore, Nicholas White, and Andrew Carter. The role of the music ministry in the outreach of the Cathedral is considerable. The annual Friends of Cathedral Music concert series allows parishioners, as well as those who cannot attend on a Sunday morning, the opportunity to attend superb musical events throughout the year.

Reviews Jean-Yves Duperron in Classical Music Sentinel:

About three years ago now I had reviewed another fine disc by these same forces, which I thought to be rather impressive. This new recording is even more so. The Choirs of the Cathedral of St. John Albuquerque, New Mexico, under the direction of choirmaster and organist Maxine Thévenot, certainly have matured, and polished their delivery dramatically. One need only listen to their account of Gerald Finzi's God is gone up to hear great singing. The clear enunciation, the way they roll the Rs in the words "praise" and "trumpets", the level of power they infuse into the word "shout", all of these qualities make for an exhilirating rendition. If you ever need an emotional or spiritual lift, this will do it. And not only do these choristers sing well, but you can tell that they actually "feel" what they are singing, and project the emotional weight of each piece across to the listener. They seem to naturally, somewhat like a chameleon, adapt their sound to the character of each piece. And all the pieces on offer in this great collection present a kaleidoscope of styles and moods. In the aforementioned Finzi the singers, and organist Stephen Tharp, give it all they have to great effect. In the haunting A New Song by James MacMillan, the men's voices in particular seem to carry within them mysteries of ancient times. The simple and naïve way in which they present Here I am Lord by Maxine Thévenot, a composition simultaneously harmonically barren and fertile, reinforces the pieces deceivingly unassuming character, while at the same time revealing its odd beauty. Another highlight on this CD is the harmonically rich Evening Hymn by Henry Balfour Gardiner with an amen beautiful enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. The ever so soft choir and organ become one at the end, and produce a final chord so expressive it defies description.

This new CD of Anthems and Canticles on the Raven label, specialists in organ and choral recordings, is a sonic delight. Maxine Thévenot, assistant organists Stephen Tharp and Edmund Connolly, and all the singers deserve a standing ovation for all the hard work that has gone into this project. It's nice to know that some people still care.

<b><font color=\"#0056ac\">The Immortal Air</b> Anglican Cathedral Music</font><BR>The Choirs of the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, New Mexico<BR><font color = red><I><B>. . . a standing ovation!</I></B> reviews <I>Classical Music Sentinel</I></font>
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