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Album Review

Angel is a collection of sacred vocal and choral pieces by Patrick Hawes, a British composer noted for his work in film and concert music. This album is his first recording for Decca, and it is a personal testament to his avowed Christian faith and his belief in the presence of angels in his life. All the works are original compositions, and in many cases, they are settings of texts by Andrew Hawes, the composer's brother. Because of the album's openly religious content, which at times verges on religiosity, it appears to be aimed primarily at a Christian audience that favors calm and accessible tonal or modal music with an unabashed sentimental tone. With one exception, Hawes' pieces are slow, soft, and serene, designed to inspire meditative moods. The only dramatic contrast is the minor-key opening of the Archangel Suite, a vaguely martial prayer to the archangel Michael. Otherwise, the atmosphere of the album is consistent, due to the seraphic voice of soprano Grace Davidson, the pure blend of Choir of New College, Oxford, under the direction of Edward Higginbottom, and the delicate sonorities of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the composer.

Customer Reviews

Angel's Song

What a gorgeous display of musicality! If you were to buy one song from this album it would have to Angel Song. A stunning violin solo painting a picturesque picture embracing a whole range of emotions and colours.


Born: 1958 in Grimsby, UK

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '00s, '10s

England's Patrick Hawes is one of a group of contemporary composers who write tonal music in an essentially Romantic tradition. Hawes has set himself apart from this group through the strongly Christian orientation of much of his music, and by releasing albums under his own name rather than relying on programming from performers. Hawes was born December 5, 1958, in the North Sea port city of Grimsby. He attended St. Chad's College at the University of Durham, majoring in organ, and then began a...
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