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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67479
Recording details: February 2004
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2004
Total duration: 10 minutes 9 seconds

'The choir of Westminster Cathedral has long been noted for its distinctive Continental-style tone, which gives its performances of Latin sacred polyphony an attractively distinctive quality. This magnificent recording, which shows off Victoria's mastery of the art of writing music for up to three choirs in the grandest possible manner, suggests that 2004 is a vintage year for them … recordings of Renaissance polyphony rarely come much better than this' (The Daily Telegraph)

'the choir is radiant in its home acoustic, and Martin Baker's well-researched decision to employ an understated organ 'continuo' adds small but telling touches of colour to the texture' (International Record Review)

'It is ideally suited to the full-throated, vibrant singing of the Westminster Cathedral Choir, while Martin Baker's finely controlled direction displays a keen architectural sense … A wonderful disc' (Goldberg)

Magnificat septimi toni
author of text
Luke 1: 46-55

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Magnificat septimi toni, the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, takes its text from Luke 1: 46–55, which recounts Mary’s response to the Annunciation of the Incarnation to her by the Angel Gabriel. Victoria wrote eighteen settings of the Magnificat. Two of these are large-scale polychoral works setting all the verses of the canticle after an opening plainsong intonation. The remaining sixteen are for four voices and set either the odd or the even verses of the Canticle to polyphony, the intervening verses being sung to plainsong. This Magnificat on the seventh tone (which is preceded by a short plainsong antiphon ‘Gabriel Angelus’) opens with a brief intonation of the first word of the text and thereafter the odd-numbered verses of the canticle are set to polyphony and the even-numbered verses are sung to plainsong. Apart from the ‘Gloria Patri’, in which a second tenor part is employed, the music is basically in four parts (SATB) with a number of reduced-voice sections for ATB or SAT to add variety. Because of the smaller forces, the style of the polyphony is different from that of the Psalms, being written mainly in a more intimate fugal manner, using motives often derived from the plainsong. After a vigorous triple-time setting of the ‘Suscepit Israel’ verse and the penultimate plainsong verse, the Magnificat comes to a satisfying finish with the five-part setting of the ‘Gloria Patri’ in which the soprano part, singing the plainsong in long notes, soars above the busy polyphonic texture of the lower parts; finally the work is rounded off by the singing of the last verse of the plainsong, followed by a repetition of the antiphon.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 2004

Other albums featuring this work
'Victoria: Ave regina caelorum & other sacred music' (SACDA67479)
Victoria: Ave regina caelorum & other sacred music
Buy by post £10.50 This album is not yet available for download SACDA67479  Super-Audio CD  
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