Sheppard: ‘The Western Wynde’ Mass, and other sacred choral music

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LABELS: Hyperion Dyad
WORKS: ‘The Western Wynde’ Mass, and other sacred choral music
PERFORMER: The Sixteen/Harry Christophers
CATALOGUE NO: CDD 22022 1992/93
In contrast with his contemporaries, Sheppard’s curious use of dissonance betrays little organic relation to the music’s structural background. However, in this reissue of Vols 3 and 4 from their collection of Sheppard’s sacred choral music, The Sixteen’s beautifully poised opposition of elegant plainsong and opulent counterpoint eloquently illuminates this repertoire’s satisfying formal balance. Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria – with especially apt ethereal purity in the upper voices – and a vital performance of ‘The Western Wynde’ Mass provide impressive focal points. Nicholas Rast