From the Vaults of Westminster Cathedral

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COMPOSERS: Byrd,Charles Wood,George Malcolm,Monteverdi,Victoria
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: A Procession of Chant and Polyphony
PERFORMER: Choir of Westminster Cathedral/ Martin Baker
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67707

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A liturgically-based path through the Christmas season is provided by this Westminster Cathedral sequence, music by Victoria and Byrd gracing the Annunciation, while a short, harmonically conservative Mass by George Malcolm, an ex-organist of the cathedral, is central to the Christmas segment.

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Epiphany brings Monteverdi’s Messa a 4 da cappella, whose polyphonic complexities elicit a confidently assertive response from the choir, with fine internal balances between the voice sections. An impressive six-part Nunc dimittis by Charles Wood prefaces ‘Marche des Roi mages’, Matthew Martin’s dramatic closing improvisation on the cathedral’s Willis organ, roaring the congregation on its path homeward.