Requiem: Choral Works by Sir Philip Ledger

Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland

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Requiem: Choral Works by Sir Philip Ledger Review

by Stephen Eddins

British conductor Philip Ledger is perhaps best known for his tenure as Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge (a position in which he followed David Willcocks and was succeeded by Stephen Cleobury), but he has also composed a number of choral works throughout his career, and this CD brings together over a dozen of his anthems and carols, along with his largest work, Requiem ("A thanksgiving for life"), written in 2007. Ledger's style is closer to that of British composers of earlier generations than to his contemporaries like John Rutter. In fact, his entirely tonal language in the Requiem is only rarely more adventurous than that of John Stainer, who was born a century before him. Taken on its own terms, much of Ledger's music is conventionally pretty, but it's seldom memorable, and there are moments of awkwardness in his writing that betray his lack of compositional experience, particularly in the Requiem. He is more successful in more modest works, like his carols, which frequently have real lyric charm. The composer leads the Choir of Christ's College in a chaste performance of the Requiem, and David Rowland leads the group in the anthems and carols. The sound is clean and warm. The album should be of most interest to fans of early to late Romantic British church music.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Requiem, a thanksgiving for life
1 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:18 Amazon
2 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:46 Amazon
3 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 03:09 Amazon
4 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:50 Amazon
5 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:10 Amazon
6 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:00 Amazon
7 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:00 Amazon
8 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 03:27 Amazon
9 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 04:15 Amazon
10 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:29 Amazon
11 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:29 Amazon
12 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:49 Amazon
13 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 01:46 Amazon
14 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 04:24 Amazon
15 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 04:44 Amazon
Lie still and slumber
16 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 03:21 Amazon
17 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 04:14 Amazon
18 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:01 Amazon
19 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:46 Amazon
20 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 02:40 Amazon
21 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 03:01 Amazon
22 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 03:46 Amazon
23 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 01:34 Amazon
24 Christ College Choir, Cambridge / Philip Ledger / David Rowland 03:03 Amazon
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