Martin: Golgotha; Mass for Double Choir

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COMPOSERS: Martin
LABELS: Erato Ultima
WORKS: Golgotha; Mass for Double Choir
PERFORMER: Wally Staempfli (soprano), Marie-Lise de Montmollin (alto), Eric Tappy (tenor), Pierre Mollet (baritone), Philippe Huttenlocher (bass-baritone); Choeur Faller, Lausanne University Chorus, Symphony Orchestra/Robert Faller, Midi Chamber Choir/Denis Martin
CATALOGUE NO: 3984-24237-2 ADD/DDD Reissue (1969, 1992)
Drawing on the gospels and St Augustine, Golgotha packs a powerful punch. Its Resurrection finale of unreal and sensuous joy increases the impact. Martin wrote it after the Second World War, and the resonance of another devastating event and subsequent liberation is large. Whether in a driving High Priests episode or the matter-of-fact choral hush of Calvary, emotion runs varied and high.

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The Mass has calmer beauties, intensity without force, and an equally ingenious range of textures. All the performers catch the spirit and letter, and the 1968 recording of Golgotha comes up well alongside the 1990 Mass. Why no text? Robert Maycock