Herbert Howells Choral and Organ Music

Born in Lydney in Gloucestershire Herbert Howells was one of the greats of the English choral tradition, a tradition he embraced wholeheartedly with some of the finest pieces of the twentieth century. Howells had a way of composing pieces that fitted the time and the place for which they were composed. This was partly due to his habit of going to a place that had commissioned a work and listening to the acoustic of the building during services. This could lead to embarrassing situations. He once turned up to a church in America straight from the airport in his shabby coat. As he walked around the building listening to the singers he was mistaken for a vagrant and asked to leave. What is true of his music is that if you are able to hear it in the venue for which it was composed it sounds different to anywhere else. This is clear in the New College Morning and Evening Canticles recorded here. (Volume 2)

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“These two discs offer the listener a wonderful Howells collection performed by the best collegiate choir in the country. A must for all lovers of the great English choral tradition.” Stuart Sillitoe, musicweb-international.com

"volume one contains the most interesting and rarer pieces. We get three transcriptions from the clavichord works, the first, De La Mare’s Pavane, by Howells himself, whilst Walton’s Toye and Jacob’s Brawl were transcribed by the great Howells scholar Christopher Palmer, who also wrote the excellent booklet notes." Stuart Sillitoe, musicweb-international.com

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