London Concord Singers performance of Deus in Adjutorium on 10th July was reviewed by on the Seen and Heard web site.
'Robert Hugill’s Deus in adjutorium , one in a projected series of 70 motets - 35 of which have been completed so far - of settings of all the Introit texts for all the Sundays and major church festivals, used both the declamatory and the polyphonic. A solo tenor, well sung by Margaret Jackson-Roberts, one of two female tenors in the group, acting as a kind of narrator, leading the choir into a prayer to “Let my enemies be confounded…” with music that seems to be of the utmost simplicity, but is in fact well thought out and carefully designed to illuminate the words. How wonderful to hear a contemporary work where the composer actually cares about the text he is setting and writes music that is so grateful to sing. Hugill is himself a singer, and a member of this choir, so he knows how to write for the group's voices and this showed in every bar. This was my first hearing of Hugill’s music and it made me want to hear more.'
Read the full review here.
The Testament of Dr Cranmer on Classical Source
“Hugill’s style is attractive and accessible, though far from anodyne… a practical church composer of real inspiration… an original, yet highly personable voice. Tenor Christopher Watson gives poised dignity… while Simon Baggs is equally eloquent. The strings of the Chameleon Arts Orchestra provide solid support. Conductor Paul Brough oversees proceedings with a precision and restraint that suites Hugill’s pellucid texture” – William Yeoman (Classical Source)
"[Christopher Watson's] beauty of sound appears effortless, yet he brings the impassioned moments directly to our attention with style. The eight voices of the ‘eight:fifteen’ vocal ensemble produce a radiant sound...Brough capably directs the two very different groups of musicians with considerable aplomb. This is a disc of initial unknowns, but the end result is delightful." - Will Dawes (Church Music Quarterly)
“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.”- Francesca Guerrasio (ResMusica)
“Overall the music is sincere and communicative and it’s expertly performed. Several passages are searingly dramatic but there are a number of more meditative, prayerful sections. This well produced disc features committed performances from musicians who serve Robert Hugill well. The sound is excellent and the documentation, including notes by the composer, is very good” – John Quinn (MusicWeb)
“A well played performance, anyone with a hankering for getting deeper into some church oriented programs is well advised to open an ear in this direction.” - Chris Spector (Midwest Record ,USA)
“The Testament of Dr Cranmer, an interestingly made musical account of the close of Dr Cranmer's life… contains some beautifully taught harmonic pungency. The choral singers are excellent, and Christopher Watson has a most appealing tenor voice, featuring in two pieces with string orchestra. The four Latin motets from Hugill's collection Tempus per Annum, all must appeal to any church choir. The performances are excellent and the recording serves both singers and orchestra well and makes listening a pleasure.” - Patric Standford (Music & Vision)
Extracts of all the recent reviews are here