Howells: Cello Concerto, An English Mass

Howells: Cello Concerto, An English Mass

Herbert Howells’ emotionally complex works, combining English pastoralism with shades of melancholy and introspection, deserve a place in British music alongside those of Vaughan Williams. It was the church that provided the breeding ground for his finest music, and here the lesser-known An English Mass from 1955, the majestic but subtle Te Deum and Jubilate, a handful of his greatest organ pieces and a newly orchestrated version of the great “‘Collegium Regale’: Magnificat” show the composer at his luminous, fragile best. The Cello Concerto plumbs even greater depths, written as it was in the shadow of the death of Howells’ young son. These wonderfully emotive performances provide dazzling insights into a complex, often troubled soul.

Disc 1

Disc 2

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