Over the Rainbow (Review by RSCM’s CMQ)

This is a soothing recital of meditative pieces sung by siblings Will and Kate James, two of the finalists in the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year competition. The performances are impressive with clear, crisp diction. There’s a wide variety of music and styles, ranging from John Dowland’s Flow, my tears and Benjamin Britten’s Corpus Christi Carol to Simple Gifts and ‘Lord of all hopefulness’, alongside Robbie Williams’s Angels. The singers are well supported by accompanist Malcolm Archer, while Sarah Butcher’s cello playing in Somewhere over the rainbow makes a haunting contribution, although it is sometimes lost in the texture. The main issue is the balance: the engineers have gone to town with the amplification of the voices, to the extent that the piano can be lost. In the duets the melody line is enhanced, at the expense of the supporting line. This is a pity, but the CD is otherwise a most enjoyable listen.

Ian MunroRoyal School of Church Music, CMQ, December 2021