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The Bach Choir is proud of our new Howells CD!
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Sep 9, 2014, 9:48 PM

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The Bach Choir is proud of our new Howells CD! Can't Post

Here at The Bach Choir we are absolutely delighted to have released a disc of unique Howells recordings as part of our English music series, alongside Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Having commissioned Howells to write Stabat Mater back in the late fifties, we are now beaming with pride to showcase its recording on Naxos, alongside a premiere of Sine Nomine and the little known full orchestral version of well loved Te Deum. With a stellar line up of soloists soprano Alison Hill and tenor Benjamin Hulett, the thing that has tickled us most about the project is best explained through an anecdote recalled in the sleevenotes:

"A month before this recording [conductor] David Hill had a serendipitous, fortunate discovery regarding the Stabat Mater. When visiting Rhode Island to give an organ recital for a friend George Kent, who had been a close friend of Sir David Willcocks, Kent showed him various scores Willcocks had given him; among them was a vocal score for Howells' Stabat Mater. To Hill's amazement, the following words were on the inside cover from Howells to Willcocks:

My dear David,
At the moment, nearly all the metronome markings seem wrong. The red-ink signs are nearer the mark. Forgive this late list of revised tempi.
signed 'H'...... Nov. 1965

On opening the score, Hill saw that almost every page had corrections; the moment proved seminal, not least since this was a month before the sessions for this recording began. Hill borrowed the score and the numerous tempo changes, along with other markings, have been adhered to in this recording." (sleevenotes by Andrew Burns)

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