EMI's 2009 recording of Messiah with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, led by Stephen Cleobury, marks three anniversaries: the 250th anniversary of Handel's death, the founding of the University of Cambridge 800 years ago, and the death 80 years ago of Arthur Henry Mann. The last two are significant because Mann, as early as 1894, had led the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, in the first "modern" performance of Messiah shorn of the gigantism that had begun to overtake the oratorio soon after the composer's death, with greatly expanded orchestration and the use of gargantuan choral forces.
Resurrexi!, recorded in 2021 in the Victorian splendour of Keble College Chapel, celebrates Easter in music – a full mass sequence based around Mozart’s Spaurmesse K. 258, interspersed with plainchant and a treasury of Viennese classical sacred music by Joseph and Michael Haydn. The result offers an imaginary recreation of an opulent service that might have been heard at Vienna’s Stephansdom, or at the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg’s court.
Sounding as glorious as ever under Director of Music Daniel Hyde, the Choir of King’s College celebrates Easter with a wide-ranging and beautifully assembled program recorded in King’s College Chapel. Starting with an anthem by the late English composer, conductor, and musician George Malcolm, complete with an attention-grabbing introductory fanfare by Matthew Martin (Director of College Music at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge), the musical journey runs from William Byrd to Maurice Duruflé with some well-known hymns along the way. There are numerous highlights: the high drama of Rossini’s “O salutaris Hostia,” Samuel Sebastian Wesley’s very Victorian “Wash Me Throughly,” Antonio Lotti’s resonant “Crucifixus à 6,” and the gentle poise of John Ireland’s “Greater Love Hath No Man.”