The Benjamin Britten centenary has begun. We kick start the celebrations with a 2 CD set of his sacred music. Our recording contains everything you might expect, and more; from Rejoice in the Lamb to the Missa Brevis, via some rarities such as Whoso dwelleth and Venite exultemus in C. It is the most comprehensive collection of his sacred music to appear, recorded by the type of ensemble Britten had in mind when writing. The collection reveals an astonishing range of approaches to church music; his contribution really stirred things up in what was quite a conservative world. New College made some of the earliest Britten recordings in the 1960s under Sir David Lumsden, and has since those times retained a lively interest in his repertory. In addition to performances of great zest and colour, the release includes comprehensive notes on the music by world-leading expert, Christopher Chowrimootoo, and a personal introduction from James Bowman, whose illustrious career spanned a time singing alto in New College Choir as well as close collaborations with Britten himself.
The sessions for the recording were held over two years, and so the recordings features two-years' worth of choristers and clerks. It is certain to become an important contribution to our appreciation of Britten's sacred music, in a sound-world absolutely matched to his expectations and wishes.