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Hyperion Records

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Photograph of Westminster Cathedral by Malcolm Crowthers
Track(s) taken from CDH55335
Recording details: June 1988
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: May 1989
Total duration: 33 minutes 12 seconds

'Under a new Master of Music, James O'Donnell, the Westminster Cathedral Choir are as intense and fervent as ever' (BBC Record Review)

'Such committed singing of such wonderful music makes this a CD not to be missed' (Organists' Review)

Missa Viri Galilaei
composer
6vv; 1601; Missarum liber duodecimus, Venice
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Kyrie  [4'55] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [5'41] LatinEnglish
Credo  [9'55] LatinEnglish

Introduction
The Mass on Viri Galilaei makes relatively little use of the homophonic writing of its model (perhaps strange when one considers the extent of its use in the motet), exploring instead the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in the scalic figures of the motet’s ‘Alleluia’—these appear early in the Kyrie. When reference is made to the static passages of the motet, it tends to be of an inexact nature, though it is always entirely clear. This is the case with the Kyrie’s reference to ‘Hic Jesus’: the reminiscence is quite detectable, but the counterpoint is more developed.

As with the four-part Missa O rex gloriae, there is a scalic point to highlight ‘Jesu Christe’ in the Gloria, though here it is even more pronounced and remarkable in the context of the surrounding stasis. The contrasting of different groups of voices is also carried over into the Mass, particularly in the Gloria and Credo in which the volume of text demands contrast. The meditative quartet at the ‘Crucifixus’ is particularly beautiful, seeming to contain the essence of the text of the Creed. The Agnus Dei is in a similar vein, being a calm remembrance of the motet, but turning the original descending scales into ascending ones.

from notes by Ivan Moody 1989

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