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Track(s) taken from CDA67970

Ave maris stella

composer
2011; SATB unaccompanied; commissioned by Truro Cathedral Choir; dedicated to Christopher Gray
author of text
Hymn at First Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
CD-Quality:
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Recording details: July 2012
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: June 2013
Total duration: 4 minutes 27 seconds

Cover artwork: Angels Supporting a Dial which Indicates the Hours of the Different Scenes of the Passion, an illustration for The Life of Christ by James Tissot (1836-1902)
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
1
Ave maris stella  [4'27]

Reviews

'The combination of Westminster Cathedral Choir and MacMillan is irresistible. We are drawn immediately into their complicity by the jaw-dropping Tu es Petrus … its simultaneous celebratory character and clear rootedness in liturgical tradition make it far more than a one-off firework. Quite different are the extraordinary Tenebrae Responsories … the sound of the Westminster choristers adds something unique and the building's resonance buoys up MacMillan's arching lines (carefully shaped under Baker's direction) and dazzling, often bitingly dissonant choral pillars … the performances throughout are outstanding, and beautifully recorded' (Gramophone)

'James MacMillan creates a magnificent effusion of sound, over which the trebles of the Westminster Cathedral Choir soar dramatically … the three movements of Tenebrae Responsories are remarkable for different reasons … this is an intensely concentrated sequence visiting dark, lonely places of the spirit. Of the nine shorter pieces, the ebullient Edinburgh Te Deum is particularly valuable, further attesting to MacMillan's reputation as one of the finest living composers of ecclesiastical music. Martin Baker's direction is masterly' (BBC Music Magazine)

'MacMillan is proof that Catholic composers need not be conventional … the three are an excellent example of that … this is honesty not often heard in sacred music … it's hard not to be impressed by the committed and well-disciplined singing of the Westminster Cathedral Choir, particularly by its boys, who negotiate MacMillan's difficult melismatic writing with confidence' (International Record Review)

'MacMillan has a close relationship with Westminster Cathedral, seeing it as a beacon of musical professionalism to which other Catholic churches should aspire. The performance is correspondingly electric: a perfect balance of voices, topped with a searing, steely treble tone, delivering such perfectly consonant harmonies it’s often goosebump-inducing. An additional draw is the cavernous acoustic of Westminster Cathedral itself—particularly in the joyful noise that is Summae Trinitati, you could be standing in its late-Victorian splendour as the brass and percussion reverberate around you. It's glorious' (Sinfini.com)
Written in 2011 Ave maris stella was commissioned by Truro Cathedral Choir and is a wholly chordal, simple and highly effective setting of this Vesper Hymn. The ending has the trebles breaking away from the rest of the choir in a soaring descant.

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2013

Commande du chœur de la cathédrale de Truro, l’hymne vespérale Ave maris stella (2011) reçoit une musique toute homophone, simple et fort efficace. La conclusion voit les trebles se séparer du reste du chœur en un déchant qui s’élance vers le ciel.

extrait des notes rédigées par Paul Spicer © 2013
Français: Hypérion

Ave maris stella entstand 2011 und war ein Auftragswerk für den Truro Cathedral Choir. Es handelt sich um eine völlig akkordische, schlichte und sehr wirkungsvolle Vertonung dieses Vesper-Hymnus. Am Ende lösen sich die Treble-Stimmen vom restlichen Chor los und singen einen himmelhohen Diskant.

aus dem Begleittext von Paul Spicer © 2013
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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