The most modern composition – and the only secular piece on the album – is derived from a lullaby (‘Goodnight my Angel’ by American pop singer Billy Joel), which is given the full King’s Singers treatment by that vocal group’s chief arranger. It’s a very cloying piece indeed, matched here in saccharine levels only by one of my pet hates, Brahms’ Lullaby. But those two
are the only doses of cloying sweetness found on this rich anthology of near-perfect choral singing, which also forms a platform for some very fine soloists from the Trinity College choir.
Composers featured here include Mozart, Handel, Mendelssohn, Purcell and Haydn, while modern choral specialists such as John Rutter, David Willcocks and Herbert Howells are also heard to fine advantage. It’s very difficult to single out just one piece from the 20 choral works presented here. But soprano Siobhan Stagg’s contribution to Mozart’s Laudate Dominum is certainly worthy of special mention for its clarity and purity.
The exultant Purcell offering, ‘Hark! The echoing Air’ from The Fairy Queen is given a truly exultant performance by the ensemble, with fine playing from trumpeter Mark Fitzpatrick and cellist Michelle Wood. The recording, which was made in the Chapel of Trinity College in Melbourne, has a transparent ambience which shines an immaculate spotlight on this very fine choir.