The Sixteen / Harry Christophers

40

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This 40th anniversary collection by the vocal group The Sixteen is of a somewhat unfamiliar sort, but the compiler -- Robin Tyson, not the group's busy director, Harry Christophers -- knew what he was doing. There are 40 selections, but there isn't one for each year; the performances are apparently all from the 2000s and 2010s (no years are given). This is reasonable, for the group's sound has remained remarkably consistent over the years. Instead, Tyson aims to show the diversity of The Sixteen's repertory and recordings, which have indeed increased down through the years from a basis in music of the Renaissance and Baroque. Christophers himself contributes a little note saying that this diversity "has actually been quite a revelation to me." Thus, you get a carefully chosen collection of 20th century music by the likes of Poulenc, Stravinsky, and James MacMillan that fits the smooth Sixteen aesthetic. The Sixteen has felt free to expand beyond that number of singers, and as if to emphasize that point the group photo included in the graphics includes 20 individuals. There is a useful and appropriate list of all the singers and instrumentalists (of the occasional Sixteen Orchestra) who have appeared on these recordings. Sample composer Morten Lauridsen's O magnum mysterium, which not that many British choirs have attempted; it shows how effective The Sixteen can be in their expanding sweet spot, with a blend that is seamless yet not exclusive of a bit of good old British sentimentality. The bottom line is that if you're new to The Sixteen, this could make a fine sampler of their work, and that's exactly what it's intended to be.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Saul HWV 53
1 02:45
The Strathclyde Motets
2 03:18
3 02:34
4 03:38
5 02:59
6 11:28
Vespers of 1610 SV 206
7 01:58
8 04:09
9 04:49
10 04:21
11 03:06
12 01:45
13 02:25
14 03:45
15 03:06
16 03:44
17 04:31
18 03:36
Requiem
19 03:11
Cantata 79 BWV 79
20 04:53

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Symphony of Psalms
1 03:02
Mass for double choir
2 04:28
Mass in B minor BWV 232
3 03:34
4 04:26
5 02:59
O sing unto the Lord Z 44
6 03:31
Messiah HWV 56
7 03:01
Cinq Rechants
8
I
04:54
9 05:47
10 04:24
Mass in G FP 89
11 02:28
Messa a quattro voci SV 190
12 04:15
13 03:30
14 04:49
Vespers K 339
15 03:54
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28
16 01:20
17 01:13
18 06:41
A Ceremony of Carols. Op. 28
19 01:22
Alexander's Feast HWV 75
20 03:02
blue highlight denotes track pick