I came across Robert Hugill’s music by accident. It had been brought to my attention that I hadn’t included any Divine Art recordings in my Roundups for a long time, so I was browsing the Naxos Music Library to see and hear what was available. Having listened to the first work on this CD, I was sold. John Quinn [see MusicWeb review below] called the central work sincere and dramatic – and I’m happy to endorse both that description and his reference to the performances of everything here as expert and committed. JQ’s only reservation was that there was, perhaps, a little too much of the serious side of Hugill’s music. I think I might prefer to describe most of it as quiet and contemplative rather than serious – just the thing for the end of a bad-hair day. I shan’t be listening to this as often as to the Chandos Howells CD (below), but I already knew that I loved Howells’ music.
It was The Testament of Dr Cranmer that first caught my attention – in the event, not the most striking work on the CD. Though I’m from the Catholic end of the Anglican spectrum, Cranmer is as much a hero figure for me as he is for the composer, not least for the wonderful prose which he bequeathed us until the modern shopping-basket language displaced it. Do try this in one form or another – buy the CD if you are unhappy about downloading. Subscribers to the Naxos Music Library can try it there.