Change Ringing from St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
"These recordings were made in the 1970s, and are of course analogue to the core. The booklet notes describe the sound engineer’s heroic battle to find a location free of traffic noise, and the bulky equipment was eventually carried up the tower and set up in the chamber above the bells. With the sheer volume of sound from the bells I can’t imagine extraneous noise being such a problem, but I do know St. Mary’s well, and it does sit more or less on an island surrounded by busy roads. All I can say is it was well worth the effort.
The booklet introduces the techniques and complications of change ringing concisely, gives dates for each of the bells, has a strange, haunting photo of the ringing team on the back cover and relishes in those words like ‘Hunting’, ‘Dodging’ and ‘Tittums’ which add such antique colour to this, for most people, almost secret world.
This kind of recording is always going to be a big sentimental hit for an ex-pat like me, but apparently even bell-ringers themselves say that ‘this recording represents the finest committed to disc.’ Knowing how much training and disciplined practice it takes to make a 12-bell team sound even and as one, I can only listen in awe as they run faultlessly through all of those complex methods. As previously mentioned the recordings are excellent, with some tape hiss audible but only at the opening and finish of tracks. With only a very few almost negligible moments of tape damage my only real criticism is the rather swift and inelegant fade-out at the end of each track. It would have been nicer if the tracks were longer as well, but the timings are of course designed to fit onto the limitations of the LP." [Dominy Clements, Music Web International]
read full review here Musicweb-International