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Hyperion Records

CDA67396 - Palestrina: Music for Advent & Christmas
Nativity (1527) by Lorenzo Lotto (c1480-1556)
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Recording details: February 2003
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2003
Total duration: 77 minutes 4 seconds

'All the familiar qualities that serve to make Westminster unique among Britain's cathedral choirs are in evidence here … the crucial added ingredient is singing of a passion and conviction that reminds us that this music is the choir's lifeblood. This is unquestionably one of the glories of the year.' (Goldberg)

'This is a thrilling recording of Palestrina's music for the Christmas season' (The Guardian)

Music for Advent & Christmas
Kyrie  [3'15] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [4'57] LatinEnglish
Credo  [7'10] LatinEnglish

Martin Baker’s first disc of Palestrina with Westminster Cathedral Choir (CDA67353, released in January of this year) was highly praised across the world [my favourite quote being ‘Palestrina’s mellifluous counterpoint resonates like whipped cream in the cathedral acoustics ... Delicious’ (The Scotsman)]. Here follows another delicious disc of Palestrina, this time dedicated to Christmas, the main work being the stunning Missa Hodie Christus natus est—one of Palestrina’s most popular works.

What better way to encapsulate the spirit of Christmas than with works of such devotional beauty, all sung with Westminster Cathedral Choir’s customary finesse and atmospheric reverence.

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'Ockeghem: Missa Au travail suis & Missa De plus en plus' (CDGIM035)
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Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This recording is devoted to a selection of Palestrina’s music for Advent and Christmas. The church year is divided into four liturgical periods. The first, including Advent, Christmas and the post-Christmas time up to Septuagesima, centres on the Nativity of Christ; the second, Septuagesima Time (which begins with Septuagesima Sunday, the ninth before Easter, and includes Lent) leads up to Easter; the third, Paschal Time, extends from Easter to Pentecost (Whitsun); and the fourth, beginning on Trinity Sunday, comprises the rest of the year. Advent thus stands at the beginning of the church year and is a period of preparation for the coming (Latin adventus) of Christ leading up to the celebration of His birth on Christmas Day. Like Christmas, it has a rich liturgy and Palestrina provided much music for both seasons.

Jon Dixon © 2003

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