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Discussion: Ward: Fantasies & Verse Anthems - Phantasm

Posts: 5

Post by undertone October 24, 2014 (1 of 5)
Another very fine release from Phantasm, in collaboration with the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford. I confess to having ordered the disc without first researching the choir's history, and then feeling a bit disoriented on hearing boy choristers when I expected women sopranos. Apropos of history: the liner commentary by Phantasm's Laurence Dreyfus, sets the context of Ward's composition in the milieu of the brief life of Henry Frederic Stuart, Prince of Wales.

Wasn't there a detective chief inspector from the Thames Valley CID who used to sing in the choir's baritone section some years ago?

Post by wehecht October 24, 2014 (2 of 5)
Well if memory serves my all time favorite detective attended the fictional Lonsdale College at Oxford, but I don't recall the choral group he sang in ever being named. I'll have to go back to episode one, the dead of Jericho, where another chorister is central to the plot to see if the (probably also fictional) choir is identified. Incidentally, for the vinyl junkies here, the episode also involves the proprietors of a specialty engineering firm that makes a turntable that bears a striking resemblance to a Linn. Morse, operaphile that he is, has one of course, though later in the series his gear became quite pedestrian.

Post by undertone October 24, 2014 (3 of 5)
Linn's SACDs would certainly have brought Morse some bittersweet pleasure in the (fictitious) retirement he never had a chance to enjoy. Loved Berlioz and Mozart; loathed Vivaldi.

Post by nucaleena October 29, 2014 (4 of 5)
undertone said:

I confess to having ordered the disc without first researching the choir's history, and then feeling a bit disoriented on hearing boy choristers when I expected women sopranos.

I felt worse than disorientated, - positively nauseous to hear the sounds of a bunch of pre-adolescent squallers coming from my speakers. Have put it straight into the sale basket and will not buy any further choral music from Linn until they adopt a truth-in-advertising policy.

Post by undertone October 29, 2014 (5 of 5)
Excerpt from The Observer, 19 Oct 2014:

"We can only speculate what England might have been like had typhoid not carried away Henry, Prince of Wales in 1612 ... This cultivated young man relished above all the thick-textured combination of viols and voices in that peculiarly English invention, the verse anthem. Henry spent a brief spell at Magdalen, Oxford, so it's appropriate that the college choir should join with resident consort Phantasm to record, with luminous clarity, some mellifluous examples of the form..."

There is an unfinished, plangent quality in the immature male voice that the recording producer, choir director and Phantasm apparently considered appropriate in the historical context of these works.

Closed