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£12.77 £10.64 Ex vat

Guildford Cathedral Choir, Chameleon Arts Orchestra
Hannah Dienes-Williams soprano, Janet Shell mezzo-soprano
directed by Katherine Dienes-Williams
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SKU: REGCD563 Categories: ,


This revelatory new recording presents the first recordings of two major works for choir and orchestra by the twentiethcentury British composer, Harold Darke. Today, Harold Darke is best known for the beautiful and well-loved Christmas carol, In the bleak midwinter. The two cantatas recorded here reveal for the first time a musical voice of great depth and consumate skill on a much larger canvas. In both works, a chorus and radiant soprano soloist – sung here by the young Hannah Dienes-Williams – are supported by luxurious post-Elgarian orchestration which envelops the listener in rich harmonies and colourful instrumental sonorities.

Faith and mysticism are at the heart of this disc and the Requiem – in the 1961 version for mezzo-soprano, choir, organ, and small orchestra – by Harold Darke’s slightly younger French contemporary, Maurice Durufl , makes an apposite companion piece.

Track List

Guildford Cathedral Choir, Chameleon Arts Orchestra

Hannah Dienes-Williams* soprano, Janet Shell mezzo-soprano

directed by Katherine Dienes-Williams

As the leaves fall* – Harold Darke
The Kingdom of God* – Harold Darke
Requiem Op. 9 (1961 version) – Maurice Duruflé
i Introit
ii Kyrie
iii Domine Jesu Christe
iv Sanctus
v Pie Jesu†
vi Agnus Dei
vii Lux æterna
viii Libera me
ix In Paradisum

Total playing time: 66:02

Production credits

Recorded in Guildford Cathedral on 24–27 June 2019

Produced and edited by Adrian Hunter.

Recorded by Will Anderson and Ken Blair

Sample audio extracts


‘There’s a serene, reflective and reverential quality to his writing which conceals an underlying layer of phlegmatic and stolid power… The balance between the solo part, sung beautifully here by soprano Hannah Dienes-Williams, the choir and orchestral forces, is exemplary from start to finish. Hard to believe that a piece of music this well conceived has not been recorded before.’ Classical Music Sentinel January 2022

‘Even if you already own a recording of the Requiem, this one is worth acquiring, not least for the opportunity to explore the Darke.’ Organists’ Review May 2022

‘Even if you already have two or three recordings of the Durufle Requiem, this would be an extremely worthy addition to your collection – and with the inclusion of the two Darke rarities, I would go so far as to say that this is an essential purchase.’ Cathedral Music Magazine 2/22

‘Katherine Dienes-Williams displays both skill and energy in putting together the choir, the orchestra. and the soloists to perform at an impeccable standard of competence. This is a splendid recording. and I thoroughly recommend it.’ The Diapason April 2023

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