William Turner (1651–1740): Sacred Choral Music

It is easy to forget that our great English choral tradition was once silenced by Act of Parliament. The subsequent restoration of the monarchy in 1660 ushered in one of the finest periods of English music, and William Turner, in 1660 a precocious nine-year-old, went on to become one of the best-known composers and singers of his day. This disc presents a cross-section of his sacred music, including several premiere recordings.

"Geoffrey Webber and the Gonville and Caius Choir present Turner as a composer who sits at the solar plexus of a rebuilt and confident English tradition… The results are invigorating and highly persuasive. With the strong advocacy and zest of Caius joined by a highly responsive Yorkshire Baroque Soloists (mainly leading London players), Turner will find friends."


"Geoffrey Webber’s choir sings with greater passion than most of its Oxbridge rivals."


"We hear impressive craftsmanship, particularly where the rich choral sonorities are woven around instrumental accompaniments, played crisply by the stylish Yorkshire Baroque Soloists. The performances are passionate; the music well worth an airing."

"All in all I recommend this disc without hesitation. Considering the lack of recordings of Turner's oeuvre this recording is very important, and the quality of the music justifies the efforts of everyone involved. I sincerely hope more of Turner's music shall be recorded – and performed live! – in the future."

"Geoffrey Webber is to be congratulated on some fine performances, aided by excellent programme notes. Highly recommended for the contribution that the CD will make to our understanding of music of the period, and for some interesting and at times lively music."


"The performers give a good account of his versatile output, ranging from straightforward verse anthems to a grand, 18-minute Te Deum, with stylish trumpet and string playing, and solo groups and choir alternating to fine effect in a Purcellian manner."

"Geoffrey Webber and the Caius choir have done a great service in making such a fine recording of his music. Choir and soloists sound fabulous, and the instrumental playing is vibrant and stylish. The recorded sound is warm and clear - this is a great disc."


"A fascinating programme performed to the highest standards."


Release Date: 18 June 2007
Catalogue No: DCD34028
Total playing time: 1:06:14
Recorded on 1-4 July 2006 at Pembroke College Chapel, Cambridge
Producer: Paul Baxter
Engineer: Adam Binks
24-bit digital editing: Adam Binks
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Drew Padrutt
Cover image: Entry of Charles II to London on the occasion of his Restoration in 1660; Courtesy of Guildhall Library, City of London
Photography: Paul Baxter

Album Booklet

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