Allowing that the word is Sir Andrew subsequently recorded some Bach organ pieces in his own orchestrations, if maybe not enough for a specific issue (but perhaps BBC, Toronto and other archives can be raided) and that a César Franck project (to have included the Symphony and conductor-scored organ works) was only under discussion, also Chandos, this Tippett may well be Davis’s swansong release. If so, it is the perfect farewell – a profoundly moving masterpiece by a composer Sir Andrew regularly championed, here in a rendition that hits the spot to devastating effect, not least during the strategically placed Spirituals, benefitting from a prior concert performance and transcending the studio red light, for all producer Adrian Peacock’s meticulousness. Ralph Couzens’s recorded sound is state-of-the-art in terms of capturing the acoustic (Fairfield Halls, Croydon), tangibly balancing the protagonists (marvellously involved soloists with BBC forces in totally committed form) and securing a wide if believable dynamic range. I feel I can now best refer back to my review of the Child concert,, while recommending this release as exceptional. The booklet for Chandos CHSA 5341 [SACD] includes Tippett’s text.

Pumeza Matshikiza (soprano); Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano); Joshua Stewart (tenor); Ashley Riches (bass); BBC Symphony Chorus & Orchestra