The Feast of St Michael and All Angels at Westminster Abbey

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The aim of this program is simple, but it's one that is not often attempted, at Westminster Abbey or anywhere else. To quote the superb notes by conductor James O'Donnell, "This disc contains music you might hear if you visited Westminster Abbey on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, commonly called Michaelmas, which falls on 29 September." The program, he goes on, reflects the day's three major services, the Morning Prayer Matins, Eucharist Mass, and Evening Prayer Evensong. Such reenactments of liturgical events, in most places, are centered on music of a specific style, but at Westminster Abbey, with its centuries-long traditions, music of different eras coexist ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The aim of this program is simple, but it's one that is not often attempted, at Westminster Abbey or anywhere else. To quote the superb notes by conductor James O'Donnell, "This disc contains music you might hear if you visited Westminster Abbey on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, commonly called Michaelmas, which falls on 29 September." The program, he goes on, reflects the day's three major services, the Morning Prayer Matins, Eucharist Mass, and Evening Prayer Evensong. Such reenactments of liturgical events, in most places, are centered on music of a specific style, but at Westminster Abbey, with its centuries-long traditions, music of different eras coexist easily within a single segment of music, linked together by the distinctive warm sound of the Abbey's men and boys choir, by its marvelously clear acoustic, and by the liturgical texts involved. From the opening "Factum est silentium" by little-known Renaissance composer Richard Dering, the music proceeds through a psalm setting by the primly Victorian Charles Villiers Stanford, the unusually exultant "Te Deum in G" of Vaughan Williams, and the almost playful "Jubilate in C" of Britten. The Eucharist and Evensong bring yet more new dimensions, with the murky lyricism of the modern French organ school exemplified in the "Messe solonelle" of Jean Langlais and two extraordinary works in Latin, strangely enough by Michael Tippett -- the vaguely antique "Plebs angelica" and the thorny Magnificat and Nunc dimittis collectively called "Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense." After Herbert Howells' early "Sequence for St. Michael," with the most detailed response to the text of any of the pieces, comes Jonathan Harvey's organ piece "Laus Deo" in conclusion -- aptly described by O'Donnell as "the opulent psychedelia of "Turangalila" compressed into four minutes of astonishing energy and power." The program wouldn't have held together in any other setting than this one -- and that is the source of its power: it embodies a living tradition. The choristers articulate the words so clearly that the full texts included in English only, and Latin where original are hardly needed. British choral music is not for everyone, but even the Anglicanophobic are hereby urged to give this a try, and also informed that Hyperion records music like this better than anyone else.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2007
  • Label: Hyperion Uk
  • UPC: 034571176437
  • Catalog Number: 67643
  • Sales rank: 398,588

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Factum est Silentium for 6 voices & continuo - Choir of Westminster Abbey & Richard Dering (3:12)
  2. 2 Preces and Responses No. 1, for cantor, chorus & organ: The Preces - Kenneth Leighton & Choir of Westminster Abbey (1:17)
  3. 3 Psalm 148 "Laudate Dominum", for chorus - Choir of Westminster Abbey & Charles Villiers Stanford (3:14)
  4. 4 Te Deum for chorus & organ (or orchestra) in G - Choir of Westminster Abbey & Ralph Vaughan Williams (7:05)
  5. 5 Jubilate Deo, for chorus & organ in C major - Benjamin Britten & Choir of Westminster Abbey (2:32)
  6. 6 Preces and Responses No. 2, for cantor, chorus & organ: The Responses - Kenneth Leighton & Choir of Westminster Abbey (6:33)
  7. 7–11 Messe Solennelle for chorus & organ - Jean Langlais & Choir of Westminster Abbey (19:19)
  8. 8 Plebs angelica, motet for double chorus - Michael Tippett & Choir of Westminster Abbey (3:42)
  9. 9 Psalm 91 "Qui habitat", for chorus - Choir of Westminster Abbey & Walter Alcock (4:21)
  10. 14–15 Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis (Evening Canticles), for chorus & organ - Michael Tippett & Choir of Westminster Abbey (7:19)
  11. 15 Sequence for St Michael, A, motet for soprano, tenor, chorus & organ - Choir of Westminster Abbey & Herbert Howells (10:23)
  12. 16 Laus Deo for organ - Jonathan Harvey & Choir of Westminster Abbey (4:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Choir of Westminster Abbey Primary Artist
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