I just picked up an EMI recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Hodie," featuring singers from Westminster Abbey and the London Symphony Orchestra. I wasn't at all familiar with "Hodie" (pronounced: "HO - dee - ay," until I was informed by the director of the Spartanburg Festival Chorus that it was our next piece to perform.

I went online and could find just this one recording, which is a re-release of material recorded all the way back in 1965! I truly expected the sound to be horrible, but at least I could listen to the piece to help me learn it for the upcoming rehearsals. Frankly, I'm simply stunned: aside from the very audible tape hiss, the sound on this disc is outstanding in every way imagineable. Everything's clear, full-bodied and very well engineered. Frankly, it sounds a good deal better than some newer, fully digital EMI recordings that I have.

Of course, the sound alone is not the reason to buy this disc, but rather the music. Aside from "Hodie," there is also Williams' "Fantasia on Christmas Carols," and both are delightful pieces of music, though "Hodie" is a far more reaching and involved piece with lovely solos from a soparano, tenor and bass, and some mighty and explosive material from the entire ensemble.

Very highly recommended, especially to illustrate how digital remastering can really improve on older recordings. A truly splendid job all around.