Bernard Rose: Music for Choir and Organ

As conductor, trainer and composer, Bernard Rose (1916–96) was one of the mainstays of English choral music in the second half of the twentieth century. His compositions occupy an honourable place within the mainstream of the cathedral tradition, being both grounded in the past and leaning gently into the future, and speaking its language of stylistic restraint and understated passion – and occasionally flaring into moment of considerable drama. This recording, sung by one of Europe’s leading vocal ensembles and conducted by the composer’s son, makes a good number of his works available for the first time.

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Ene Salumäe, organ
Gregory Rose, conductor

Annike Lohmus, soprano
Karolina Kriis, soprano
Marianne Parna, contralto
Raul Mikson, tenor
Rainer Vilu, baritone

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Catalogue No: TOCC0307
EAN/UPC: 5060113443076
Release Date: 01.08.2016
Composer: Bernard Rose
Artists: Ene Salumäe, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Gregory Rose

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Feast Song for Saint Cecilia (1975)
  2. Three Addison Anthems (1978)

  3. No. 1 When all thy mercies
  4. No. 2 The Lord my pasture shall prepare
  5. No. 3 The Spacious Firmament on High
  6. Evening Canticles in C minor (1968)

  7. I Magnificat
  8. II Nunc Dimittis
  9. Evening Canticles: The Chichester Service (1994)*

  10. I Magnificat
  11. II Nunc Dimittis
  12. Chimes (1974)
  13. Upon Westminster Bridge (1990)*
  14. If I could tell you (1993)*
  15. Slow, slow, fresh fount (1939)*
  16. Lines for the Magdalen Choir (1981)*
  17. Two Carols

  18. A Christmas Carol: The Christ Child (1984)*
  19. Our Blessed Lady’s Lullaby (1968)*
  20. Behold, I Make All Things New (1997)*
  21. The Lord’s Prayer (1957)
  22. Lilia agricolae (1980)*
  23. Lord, I have loved (1957)
  24. O God, who didst give the law to Moses (1987)*
  25. Praise ye the Lord (1949)

*First Recordings

3 reviews for Bernard Rose: Music for Choir and Organ

  1. :

    ‘Bernard Rose (1916-1996) is one of the most prominent names in English religious music of the second half of the twentieth century. … His music was influenced by composers such as Gerald Finzi (1901-1956), Herbert Howells (1892-1983), Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Edward Bairstow (1874-1946) and William Henry Harris (1883-1973). However, an identification with earliest compositional traditions in some of his choral compositions is also noteworthy, along with a repertoire that often assumes a dramatic character. The Bernard Rose album … is an excellent business card for this composer’s work, combining a cappella choral music, repertoire for choir and organ and also solo organ, in a total of 21 works composed between the years of 1939 and 1994. … The recording shows considerable quality, both from the point of view of sound and interpretation, and a significant number of works are recorded here for the first time.’ –Xpressing Music, December 2016

  2. :

    “The Church of England has continued to produce a rich lineage of sacred choral music of the highest caliber throughout the 20th century, with Herbert Howells being arguably the greatest representative. But for those who find even the relatively conservative forays of Howells into dissonance a bridge too far, the compositions of Bernard William George Rose (1916–1996) provide an alternative they can readily embrace. … Every piece is unfailingly well wrought, falling pleasingly upon the ear and aptly illustrating its text; substantive and complex, but not unduly difficult. … This is in short the kind of repertoire for which well-drilled church choirs yearn, and which pleases many congregations as well. … The English diction of the singers is immaculate and crystal clear, and moreover under the exemplary leadership of Gregory Rose the group also has a genuine English cathedral choir sound, no mean feat. Every other aspect of the singing is exemplary. Organist Ene Salumäe is quite capable in his turns as choir accompanist and his one brief solo foray (Chimes). The recorded sound captures the choir with ideal clarity and balance. The elegant booklet includes all texts, detailed notes by Gregory Rose, artist bios, a roster of choir members, and a brief appreciative remembrance by Joseph Horovitz. If Anglican choral music is your cup of vocal tea, then this is an ideal serving for an English Breakfast; highly recommended.” —Fanfare Magazine, January/February 2015

  3. :

    “Rose fils has followed in the footsteps of his father by becoming a celebrated composer and choral conductor in his own right. It’s fitting, therefore, that he should be the conductor of what I suspect may be the first CD devoted completely to his father’s music. … All the music included here – much of it in first recordings – is well worth hearing and the performances are uniformly excellent. … I was very taken with Upon Westminster Bridge… This is a captivating piece and it put me in mind of Finzi’s part songs… For the first piece on the programme, Feast Song for Saint Cecilia, Bernard Rose invited Gregory to write him a text. The piece features fine, flowing vocal lines and there’s a recurring and highly effective part for a solo soprano. I like very much the two Christmas pieces that Gregory Rose has selected. In particular The Christ Child, a setting of G.K. Chesterton is very beautiful and thoughtful, communicating very directly with the listener. I enjoyed all the music on this disc. Bernard Rose is extremely well served here by the voices of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Occasionally you can tell by the pronunciation that the choir isn’t Anglophone but they sing Rose’s music extremely well and Gregory Rose’s direction is surely uniquely authoritative. … Both organ and choir are well recorded. This is a fine tribute to an important figure in the music of the English church.” –Music Web International, January 2017

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