The Magdalen College Choir has made a number of recordings over the years. Some of those made under the direction of the current Informator Choristarum, Mark Williams, and his predecessor, Daniel Hyde, are highlighted here.
All the CDs featured here can be purchased from the Home Bursary at Magdalen College (via firstname.lastname@example.org) or through Amazon.
‘The historic traditions and refined sound of the Choir of Magdalen College have proven fertile ground for generations of composers. From the richly inventive and expansive writing of John Sheppard to the mysticism and passion of James Whitbourn’s recent settings, this programme celebrates a unique and finely crafted legacy of choral music and sublime singing that flourishes in our time as much as it did in the 15th century.’ Opus Arte
‘What a joy to find Basil Harwood, Rubbra and Magdalen’s own Bernard Rose here alongside more core Oxbridge choral fare. Magdalen’s sound has always had an unmannered, forthright quality to it, something Williams celebrates in the jagged, ecstatic dance of Leighton’s Let all the world and the surging unison swell of the Harwood……..The trebles’ naturally bright tone illuminates Berkeley’s O that I once past changing were but is turned deftly down to achieve the softer blend of Parry’s Crossing the Bar and Sheppard’s setting of the Lord’s Prayer. The extended opener Lead, kindly light is nicely paced and calibrated for drama, with an outstanding solo from tenor Maximilian Lawrie, while Rubbra’s There is a spirit put the fine treble Thomas Pennignton-Arnold in the spotlight.’ Gramophone
‘On Christmas Night’ is the latest release of Magdalen College Choir under the Opus Arte label. This is a compilation of Christmas carols that have formed part of the traditional Carols by Candlelight services in Magdalen College Chapel over the past few years, including the much-loved Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Vaughan Williams with the baritone solo by Roderick Williams.
Composer, Matthew Martin, on his new CD with the Choir of Magdalen College Oxford…
“It is a great privilege for me to have a disc of my music recorded by my old college choir. I was organ scholar of Magdalen from 1994-1997 and this was a formative musical experience for me and one for which I owe a great deal to the college. The playlist on this latest choir CD comprises mainly choral works that were written over the last three years and they vary in style from simple, fauxbourdon settings of plainchant to much more lengthy and dramatic pieces. The current college choir, under the direction of Informator Choristarum Daniel Hyde, is on absolutely top form; they negotiate effortlessly the most demanding of passages whilst bringing a lightness of touch and freshness to even the simplest melody. It is surely one of the finest and most cohesive ensembles of its type in the world and they certainly make the best possible case for my music.”
‘Director of Music, Daniel Hyde, finds all the beauty and pain in this spell-binding sequence, an hour of listening that is both of the moment and utterly timeless’ (Independent on Sunday, 5*)
‘Richly sustained performances’ (The Observer, 5/5)
‘With excellent boy trebles singing the soprano solos and the sinuous viols of Phantasm supplying supple sonatas, the continental-sounding choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, give a vibrant, appealing performance under Daniel Hyde’ (The Times, 4*)
Listen to a sample from Mount up, my soul. In addition to being purchased from the bursary (see above) this CD can be purchased from directly Linn Records.
This Choir of particularly fine trebles (The Observer 5*)
There is rich splendour in the choral textures…, and this is one of the few versions in a vast discography that offers the alternative of boys’ voices on the upper parts. (Gramaphone)