Poignant dignity suffuses the prayers of German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed by the Nazis in 1945. In settings by Philip Moore they become powerful testaments of faith in the darkest of times, sung brilliantly here by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, alongside Howells’s Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing and Tavener’s The Peace That Surpasseth Understanding. Roderick Williams features widely in remembrance recordings this year; in Colin Matthews’s No Man’s Land (see above), in Finzi and Butterworth with the London Mozart Players (Naxos) and here in Duruflé’s transcendent Requiem, his beautiful unforced baritone perfect for the mysterious Domine Jesu Christe, with the strings of the Britten Sinfonia adding an elegant sheen in the expansive acoustic of the abbey.
Various: Music for Remembrance – ‘Roderick Williams is perfect’
Choir of Westminster Abbey, Britten Sinfonia/O’Donnell
Stephen Pritchard has written on classical music for most of his 45 years in journalism. He was the Observer's first readers' editor, and prior to that was a managing editor and production editor