'Pelican in the Wilderness' Rides High in the Charts

'Pelican in the Wilderness' Rides High in the Charts
Pelican in the Wilderness is Howard Goodall’s third disc with Enchanted Voices, a hand-picked female-voice choir par excellence.  High in the classical charts since its release on the Classic FM/UCJ label on 10 May, it is a collection of 13 settings of the Psalms, with accompaniment from the Tippett Quartet and Daisy Fancourt on organ/keyboard. 

Its healing powers have some credibility – the CD was also reported in the UK national press to be the music of choice for both David Cameron and Nick Clegg, as they hatched out the final terms of the new coalition Government!


‘Goodall’s melodic gift is well to the fore throughout the disc.  Even when at his more angular (for example, in “O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”) everything seems to fit the text with ease.  He produces ample textural contrast, too, with plenty of solo voice phrases counterbalanced nicely by close harmony or unison sections. This is superior, diatonic, ultra-legato easy listening, albeit heartfelt and honest, though there are times when Goodall almost out-Rutters his senior composing colleague, in terms of sweetness.  The instrumental accompaniments are beautifully and luxuriously played. The Tippett Quartet is on top form; John Mills‟s violin solo in Psalm 139 (“Thou walkest with me”) evocatively harks The Lark Ascending… Having covered (in their three albums thus far) a new approach to The Beatitudes, Carols and now the Psalms one wonders where Goodall and his heavenly choristers will head next.
Gramophone (Malcolm Riley), July 2010

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