Mother of God: Choral Music to the Virgin Mary | Prima Facie PFCD117

Mother of God: Choral Music to the Virgin Mary


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Label: Prima Facie

Cat No: PFCD117

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 15th November 2019



Mother of God: Choral Music to the Virgin Mary is the debut CD of Khoros, a choir formed in 2011 by Patrick Allies. In seeking a programme that would best demonstrate the choirís versatility, Patrick drew together music composed in honour of the Virgin Mary, particularly works that refer to or celebrate some of the many names by which she is known. Such a programme enabled the presentation of music from plainsong and renaissance polyphony to contemporary and includes two premiere recordings.

Ben Rowarthís Regina caeli (for SAT voices) and Libby Croadís To the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which was commissioned for this disc, sets an anonymous 19th-century text published in Volume I of the Carmelite Review of August 1892. The earliest music in the programme is the solemn tone plainsong Salve Regina.

Hildegard of Bingenís own mesmerising, flowing plainsong in O viridissima virga is sung by the womenís voices. From Tudor England, Robert Parsonsí setting of Ave Maria concludes with an Amen of exquisite beauty, considered to be one of the finest passages of music composed in the 16th century. The same Ave Maria text is subtly combined with that of WB Yeatsís poem The Mother of God in the vivid and powerful Mater Dei by Sarah Rimkus. The seven-part setting of Ego flos campi by Jacobus Clemens non Papa is full of sumptuous choral counterpoint, and an equally sonorous effect is accomplished in the rich contemporary harmonies of Eva Ugaldaís setting for menís voices of Ave maris stella.

Jan SandstrŲm surrounds Michael Praetoriusís Est ist ein Ros entsprungen with clustered chords and creates an atmosphere of stillness around the wintry words. Orlande de Lassusís double-choir, eight-part Alma redemptoris mater brings the programme, which also includes works by Taverner, Lobo, Padilla and Britten, to a musically thrilling conclusion.

The recording venue was the compact but resonant chapel of Downing College, Cambridge.

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