Stabat Mater: Sacred Choral Music by Lennox & Michael Berkeley

Stabat Mater: Sacred Choral Music by Lennox & Michael Berkeley

by The Marian Consort


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British composer Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989) developed a style that had antecedents in the tonal music of Britten and perhaps Poulenc, but maintained a modernist austerity. The "Stabat Mater" exemplifies his earlier style at its best, with stark chords developing into dense polyphony that adds tension, explicating the text clearly and responding to it deeply. The work is framed by movements that use the entire small ensemble of six voices plus groups of solo strings, winds, harp, and percussion; sample the finale, although the inner solo, duo, and quartet movements are equally compelling. The a cappella "Mass for Five Voices" was written in 1964 at the height of the serialist diktat and is a less convincing work. The program is rounded out by two shorter pieces, one of them by Lennox Berkeley's son Michael. Throughout, the Marian Consort, a group known mostly for work in Renaissance repertory, and the Berkeley Ensemble, give highly sympathetic performances. The album is worth your time and money for the "Stabat Mater" alone; this is an important piece of British choral music, well suited to performance by, say, university forces, that here receives its premiere recording.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/29/2016
Label: Imports
UPC: 0801918341809
catalogNumber: 5064294
Rank: 209797


  1. Touch Light, for soprano, countertenor & string quintet
  2. Judica me, for chorus, Op. 96/1
  3. Mass for 5 voices, Op. 64
  4. Stabat Mater, for 6 solo voices & 12 instruments, Op. 28

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