The glory of English music is brought to resplendent life in a new compilation featuring the incomparable Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. England My England, a new two-CD compilation drawn from the choir’s extensive EMI Classics catalog, captures the quintessentially English sound of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, as heard in the singular acoustic of its magnificent chapel. Over the course of 40 tracks, the new album offers motets ancient and modern, well-known psalms and favorite hymns (“ Jerusalem ,” “Praise, my Soul, the King of Heaven”), and many pieces made recognizable through their association with key events in English history.
“Come ye sons of art away” is Purcell’s 1694 birthday ode for Queen Mary. “Thou knowest, Lord” is part of the music he wrote for her funeral just nine months later. John Ireland’s “Greater love hath no man” is often heard on Remembrance Sunday; Sir John Tavener’s “Song for Athene” made a powerful impression at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales; while John Rutter’s small-scale, personal Requiem touched a wider public following the attacks of September 11, 2001. But “Nimrod,” above all, represents music of national remembrance and this collection boasts a choral setting of it: Lux aeterna, by Edward Elgar.