John Joubert - Choral Music
Louis Halsey Singers
Jean Knibbs (soprano), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Martin Neary (organ)
British Music Society
Needless to say, the Louis Halsey Singers sing beautifully throughout and are particularly impressive in the demanding Pro Pace Motets. These recordings made in 1975 have been nicely transferred and sound remarkably well.
This most welcome release is an apt and timely birthday tribute to a very distinguished composer whose beautifully crafted and often appealing music is all-too-easily overlooked.
Hubert Culot, Musicweb International, 4/2/2007
The British Music Society release presents a generous selection of Joubert’s choral music appearing on disc for the first time. The Pro Pace Motets (1955-59) are the gems in this collection. The final motet is the most substantial and intricate of this triptych on the subject of peace, comparing the victory of Christ’s Passion with the ultimate triumph of non-violence. This work is significant, not only because of its timely anti-war message, but also because this most sophisticated and controlled composer is so passionately involved, responding to the texts at a very personal level. Among the other items, the Three Hymns to St Oswald are consummately crafted (the atmospheric opening to the Hymnus ad Matitunem conjures up the world of daybreak with the minimum of notes) and the delightful carol Nowell proves there is much more to the composer’s work than the ubiquitous Torches, revealing Joubert as a master of the choral miniature.
Paul Conway, Tempo, 10/1/2007
Multiple reasons for choosing this. Hooray for the British Music Society, double hooray for the excellent engineering and sensitive performances but triple hooray with an extra hooray for Christmas for John Joubert. Coming back to these performances after many years, it emphasised to me just what a fine and strikingly individual composer he is. There is glorious music here, much of it sacred but with a steely backbone that saves it from the pious wallowings that blights so much church music for me. Here is a composer whose music demands a serious reassessment and soon.
Nick Barnard, Musicweb International, 12/15/2009