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Posted Friday, September 14, 2007
In this “Celebration of Charles Wesley 1707-1788”, a sequel to the 1990 recording “Sing Lustily and With Good Courage”, Maddy Prior returns with her Carnival Band to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of Charles Wesley by sampling some of the 9,000 hymns he wrote or were collected by him and his brother John, the founder of the Methodists. The style is a fusion of folk and classical, with a sextet of orchestral instruments providing the accompaniment.
Most hymn texts are taken from the 1889 “Collection of Hymns”, while the tunes come from various sources, mostly English, but also American. Charles Wesley, an Oxford student, was a serious poet and hymn writer - something of a radical in his day in this field. The hymns presented by Maddy and Co are not necessarily authentic period performances but once again they are performed “lustily and with good courage”. Those who enjoy this particular musical niche will find the album uplifting.