'bursting with fun and uplifting music. The liturgical items shine with melodic beauty and joy' (The Times)
'… ending in a frenzy of whoops and shrieks - Ex Cathedra more exhilaratingly uninhibited than I've heard them before. After such abandoned exuberance, Vesoers ends with an endearingly unaffected recessional hymn. Instruments and voices are reduced, one by one, until nothing remains but hummed voices lingering in the air - and the memory of a most impressive disc' (BBC Music Magazine)
'Ex Cathedra enter into the festive spirit with the infectious enthusiasm for this newly discovered treasure-trove that also pervades their crisp, stylish performances of the more sober pieces' (Daily Telegraph)
'truly sublime...all beautifully played, sung and recorded' (The Sunday Times)
'Skidmore and Ex Cathedra fill this album with some of the most alive, infectious and uplifting Baroque polyphony I've ever heard … A very special release' (Classic FM Magazine)
'Jeffrey Skidmore and Ex Cathedra turn the dead contents of dusty archives into a thrilling programme … one of the finest albums of early baroque music to grace its catalogue' (Music Week)
'A fascinating re-creation' (The Guardian)
'This second collection from Jeffrey Skidmore fizzes with excitement and energy and is every bit as engrossing as his first' (The Independent)
'Here is a truly wonderful disc, by reason of the splendours of the works chosen and the superbly controlled enthusiasm and skill of the performers … an absolute winner' (International Record Review)
'In an engagingly personal note, Jeffrey Skidmore tells of his exploratory journeys to Latin America, where he uncovered vast amounts of a treasure store of repertoire that is evident not only from his words, but also the performances he inspires from Ex Cathedra. To induce such idiomatically colourful singing and playing on October days in London is an achievement warranting unreserved plaudits. Viva! Viva, Jeffrey!' (Fanfare, USA)
'The musicians of Ex Cathedra under Jeffrey Skidmore add further lustre to their reputation with some ravishing vocal and instrumental performances which are by turns exuberantly sophisticated and intensely moving in their simplicity. A short review cannot hope to do justice to this wonderful CD. Buy it!' (Cathedral Music)
Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore unearth more fascinating treasures with this latest anthology of Latin American music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The first volume—‘New World Symphonies’, released in 2003 on compact disc CDA67380—has been hugely popular, getting regular airplay on Classic FM.
The works on this disc were chosen from the vast amount of extraordinary repertoire Jeffrey Skidmore discovered on research visits to the USA, Mexico and Bolivia.
Hanacpachap cussicuinin is a piece still widely performed throughout Latin America, its steady, processional drumming creating a haunting and seductive atmosphere. It is set for four voices in Sapphic verse in the Quechua language. The colourful imagery of the sequence of prayers skilfully mixes Inca and Christian imagery, with its references to stores of silver and gold, life without end, deceitful jaguars and sins of the devil.