The four coronations of the twentieth century were enormous and extravagant. Replete with festive pageantry, these ceremonies were joyful celebrations of British music, employing tremendous forces. Choirs from across London and beyond were marshalled to provide a chorus of over 400 voices; a full-size symphony orchestra was squeezed into Westminster Abbey, whilst bands of fanfare trumpeters led the pomp and celebration.
In the imposing surroundings of Ely Cathedral, Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli bring the history, ceremony and liturgy of these extraordinary events to life. With his renowned creative flair, McCreesh’s painstaking research provides the springboard for their latest ground-breaking recreation project. The result is a joyful celebration of five centuries of choral music, performed with the same vast forces as were heard at the coronation services. Alongside an orchestra of rare early-twentieth century instruments, an extended Gabrieli Consort is amplified by the energetic sound and fresh faces of several hundred young singers from Gabrieli’s choral training programme Gabrieli Roar. The music is interspersed by the coronation liturgy, with Simon Russell Beale speaking the part of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Performance ★★★★ Recording★★★★★ McCreesh at his considerable best – BBC Music Magazine
★★★★★ Paul McCreesh has magnificently recreated this unique coronation rite… truly heart-warming – Choir & Organ
★★★★★ An astonishing recording – The Times
★★★★★ McCreesh has conceived and executed a magnificent project – Classical Source
★★★★★ Palpable enthusiasm and engagement – Planet Hugill
One can imagine the virtuosity required by every contributor, at every turn, to make this a reality, let alone a dazzling triumph – Gramophone
A most recommendable treat – MusicWeb International
This is something very special – Cross Rhythms