David Hill’s latest Howells disc is “one of this year’s most significant choral recordings”

29 May 2020

David Hill’s latest Hyperion release has been described variously as “electrifying”, “uplifting” and “one of this year’s most significant choral recordings”. Directing The Bach Choir, BBC Concert Orchestra and soloists, Herbert Howell’s Missa Sabrinensis is heard in a new version edited by David Hill himself with Paul Spicer, which restores the work so it can be heard as Howells intended for the first time. Record Review says it “perfectly captures the radiance of the writing and the grandeur of the vision”.

The disc completes David Hill’s recordings of Howells’ three largest choral and orchestral scores, previously releasing Stabat Mater (2014) and Hymnus Paradisi (2007) to critical acclaim.

It has been highly praised for its vivid and sensitive recreation of Howells’ work, and reviews can be read below:

“This new recording perfectly captures the radiance of the writing, the grandeur of the vision—just wait for the Gloria that comes after [the Kyrie] when you listen to this—and the connection with landscape and tradition. A perfect way to hear Howells at his most expansive” - Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review

“A texturally high-definition performance from David Hill and the superbly trained amateurs of The Bach Choir...It’s an electrifying performance: one of those you never knew you were waiting for but can’t imagine now ever doing without” - Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone Magazine

“The combined forces certainly make a glorious noise, at its most impressive with the extensive Gloria section” - BBC Music Magazine, performance **** recording *****

“Hill’s uplifting performance, magnificently sung by the choir and the soloists Helena Dix, Christine Rice, Benjamin Hulett and Roderick Williams, proves a complete vindication” - Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

“This may be one of this year’s most significant choral recordings, and it is a performance not to be missed” - David Smith, Presto Classical - Recording of the Week

"This is a highly impressive account of Missa Sabrinensis. It’s one that does full justice to the stature of the work… David Hill reveals the work’s stature more compellingly and convincingly… David Hill has certainly increased my appreciation of this neglected important score very significantly" - MusicWeb International

"Howell’s Missa Sabrinensis is a masterpiece, its true genius revealed in this exceptionally sensitive performance, recorded so lucidly that it defies its reputation for being difficult to perform. This is essential listening for anyone into Howells and the true greatness of his work" - Opera Today

Read an interview with David Hill on Howells’ work here.

For more information and extracts, click here to visit the Hyperion website.

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