A “testament” in a tonal style.
The English composer Robert Hugill is known in contemporary music circles for his sacred music, written in a tonal language which is distinctive and accessible, as much to professionals as amateurs. He is the founder of the eight:fifteen vocal ensemble and sings himself in a London choir. Paul Brough has assembled a selection of his choral and vocal works under the title The Testament of Dr. Cranmer. Twelve pieces in English and in Latin: Four Motets from Tempus per Annum, Faith, Hope and Charity, Magnificat, Salve Regina, Agnus Dei to name some of them.The title of the disc, The Testament of Dr. Cranmer, evokes the figure of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, who is considered the first martyr of the Anglican church and who was responsible for replacing Latin by English in the office of the mass.The selection opens with the composition for tenor and strings, The Lord Bless Thee, originally conceived for soprano and organ. The solo voice dialogues ideally with the orchestra in a type of alternating question and answer. A strong use of strings characterises this album, in the strong spiritual sense which runs through all the works. For example in Faith Hope and Charity the sublime music of the solo violin has the effect of easing troubled spirits.