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Vesperae solennes de confessore and Coronation Mass in C

Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum
Charivari Agréable
Benjamin Nicholas director
Laurence Kilsby, Jeremy Kenyon, Christopher Watson, Christopher Borrett - soloists

Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum and Charivari Agreable come together for the first time in vividly communicative interpretations of three of Mozart's sacred masterpieces.  The forces are very much as Mozart intended - a period orchestra, an all-male chorus and soloists (including 2009 BBC Chorister of the Year Laurence Kilsby) drawn from the choir.  Under Benjamin Nicholas's spirited direction these performances bristle with energy and the invigorating freshness of youth.

Benjamin Nicholas conducts the Mass and Vespers with vigour and grace and the Ave verum corpus with a sublime stillness that never sounds sentimental. English boys' choirs can sometimes sound a bit too wispy and ethereal for Baroque and Classical Music but not so Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, which has a marvellously rich and full tone. Nicholas drawsfrom it beautifully articulated singing as well as a surprisingly wide range of vocal texture. In the 'Kyrie' of the Coronation Mass, for example, listen to how he changes the choir's timbre from open-throated exultation at the beginning to feathery delicacy at the end. In the sternly contrapuntal 'Laudate pueri' psalm from the Vespers, Nicholas controls the forces with greater success than many a conductor I have heard. The solo soprano parts are all sung most intelligently by treble Laurence Kilsby, who has a strong and lovely voice.

International Record Review, January 2012

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The Schola Cantorum sing the weekday choral services at the Abbey.

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The choristers are all educated at Dean Close Preparatory School in Cheltenham.

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