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Track(s) taken from CDA66850

Sicut cervus desiderat

Motectorum liber secundus, 1581
author of text
Psalm 41 (42): 1-3

Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
Recording details: June 1995
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: February 1996
Total duration: 3 minutes 27 seconds

Cover artwork: The Coronation of the Virgin by Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (d1455)

Other recordings available for download

Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (conductor)


'The answer to many prayers; a blockbusting survey of choral masterpieces performed by a choir of exceptional calibre' (Classic FM Magazine)

'For anyone eager to sample varied music from the Golden Age of polyphony this is a perfect disc' (Classic CD)

'If ever a programme was right up a choir's street, then this is it! From the fanfare-like opening of Exultate Deo and its soul-mates by Viadana, Gabrieli, Byrd and Monteverdi, through the linear beauties of Ave verum corpus (as set by Byrd and Philips) and Parsons' Ave Maria, the imploring devotion of Lotti's incomparable Crucifixus and the serenity of Tallis's O nata lux, all is brought glowingly alive. A real joy' (Organists' Review)
Palestrina’s life and work centred around Rome. He was born in the nearby town of Palestrina, from which he took his name, trained as a choirboy in the Roman church of S. Maria Maggiore, appointed to prominent positions in the Roman musical establishment, and brought to international fame by his numerous publications, issued in the first instance from Rome. In 1551 he was appointed maestro of the Cappella Giulia, the choir of St Peter’s Basilica, and in 1555 he sang for a few months in the Sistine choir until the introduction of a celibacy rule by the new pope led to his dismissal as a married man. Periods of directorship at the church of St John Lateran, where Lassus had preceded him (1555–60) and at his old church of S. Maria Maggiore (1561–6) were followed by a return in 1571 to the Cappella Giulia, where he remained till his death. His stream of publications began with a successful book of madrigals in 1555; by the time of his death there were seven books of masses, six of motets, and sundry other volumes of liturgical music and madrigals. Sicut cervus has always been one of the most familiar of Palestrina’s motets, frequently reprinted and anthologized since the nineteenth century, and justly held up as a model of Renaissance imitative polyphony, in this case expressive of serene but fervent spiritual yearning. Its psalm text was appropriately appointed as the first part of the Tract at the blessing of the font on Holy Saturday.

from notes by Collegium Records © 2009

Other albums featuring this work

Palestrina: Missa Aeterna Christi munera & other sacred music
The Sacred Flame
COLCD134Download only
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