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Oxford Choral Classics: English Church Music assembles in two volumes around 100 of the finest examples of English sacred choral music of the past five centuries.
The first volume, dedicated to anthems and motets, presents both favourite and lesser-known works, from the exceptional Renaissance polyphony of Taverner, Tallis, and Byrd, through the Restoration led by Purcell, to the glorious works of the great nineteenth- and twentieth-century composers, including Wesley, Elgar, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, and Howells.
The volume contains a number of more substantial works, including Mendelssohn's Hear my prayer, Stainer's I saw the Lord, and Naylor's Vox dicentis: Clama, as well as a wonderful selection of shorter pieces, from Gibbons's O Lord, in thy wrath to Walton's Set me as a seal upon thine heart. With the second companion volume of canticles and responses, this bipartite collection presents a comprehensive survey of English sacred music at its best.