Pelham Humfrey: Sacred Choral Music

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A protege of Henry Cooke, first director of the choir of the Chapel Royal after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Pelham Humfrey was part of a generation of musicians who enriched the musical life of their native England with influences drawn from continental Europe - from France, where Humfrey had studied between 1664 and 1667, and from the Italian musicians at work in the London to which he returned, succeeding Cooke in 1672.

Today the same choir sings at St James's Palace, where the present recording was made by gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen. Joined by a small instrumental ensemble led by Delphian regular Bojan Cicic, with an antiphonal layout inspired by records of the former chapel at Whitehall, this group of ten boy choristers and six adult singers revives the musical and devotional world of its former director, in intimate performances alive with its predecessors' improvisational flair.

"A terrific new disc which brings out the French and Italian influences at the court of King Charles II with an exploration of the music of the talented, but relatively neglected Pelham Humfrey ... The ten trebles acquit themselves with aplomb, ably partnered by the six singing men of the choir. The small instrumental ensemble similarly stylish, and the whole, under Hardy's fine direction, brings a new sense of style to the music of this period"

★ ★ ★ ★ ★


read the full review here

"McHardy and the choir of today’s Chapel Royal, plus soloists and a small string and continuo group, give luxuriantly ornamented readings of the verse anthems O Give Thanks unto the Lord, By the Waters of Babylon and O Lord My God, separated by the rather more functional Service in E"


Release Date: 22 January 2021

Recorded on 27-29 January 2020 inHM Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace

Producer: Paul Baxter

Engineer: Matthew Swan

24-bit digital editing: Matthew Swan

24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter


Pelham Humfrey By the Waters of Babylon

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