|Rogers Covey-Crump : discography|
Lammas Records LAMM 072 [LP]
Sacred & Secular
The Fayrfax Consort - David Ireson
The Fayrfax Consort of St Albans
This collection of music represents those composers whose work has been particularly featured by the Fayrfax Consort since it was founded in 1967. The music on the first side is performed by a choir of thirty voices and the lighter-hearted music on the second side by the more usual size of the Consort - eighteen voices. All the recording took place in St. Albans Abbey.
This record is quite a treasure. You don't have to be a devotee of any one of the various periods represented here to enjoy the lot. This group is capable of expressing the faith, the heartaches and the fun of many centuries, encompassing a wide field with distinction. The first side, sacred music of three markedly contrasting composers, is sung by 30 voices; the second side, secular music of the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, uses only 18. Grainger and Vaughan Williams form a considerable knot in the middle of the programme, and it is easy to see how difficult it would be for this choir to pick only one or two examples of this style, which particularly suits their ensemble. Brigg Fair is a performance to play again and again, with Rogers Covey-Crump as a melting soloist against a magical backcloth of well-tuned Grainger chords. The recording quality is good, but it is not always easy to catch the words. This is particularly important in the last piece by Chris Hazell, where the music deliberately runs out of inspiration as the history of English choral music is unfolded, and little joy can be got out of it unless the words are punched. They're not, but the enclosed text-card comes to the rescue. Recording in St Alban's Abbey may have caused the harmonies to flourish and the consonants to dissolve. G.R.