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Hyperion Records

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Voix du soir by Gustave Moreau (1826-1898)
Reproduced by courtesy of the Musée Gustave Moreau, Paris
Track(s) taken from CDH55444
Recording details: July 1987
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: July 1988
Total duration: 16 minutes 9 seconds

'It was a real joy for me to hear how perfect was the sound and also the playing and singing of the interpreters' (Jean Langlais)

'Those unfamiliar with the music of Jean Langlais should lose no time and try this outstanding collection' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Highly desirable at full price and even more so now. There’s no competition if you want both the Masses together. The Missa Salve regina is the high point of the recording for me—with a gloriously ceremonial organ part and harmonies which are at once of the 20th-century yet harking back to Machaut and before, this music deserves to be much better known and this is the very recording to do it' (MusicWeb International)

Missa Salve regina
first performed Christmas 1954
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Kyrie  [3'20] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [3'46] LatinEnglish

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The plainsong Salve regina (‘Hail, O queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope’) is one of the four Antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, dating probably from the eleventh century and intended for singing at the end of Compline. By the thirteenth century it had become so closely identified with this rite that it was sometimes sung as a separate evening service, known in France as ‘Salut’, elsewhere as the ‘Salve’. It has since been the basis of many settings of the Mass and of other polyphonic compositions.

Langlais’s Missa Salve regina was first sung at Notre Dame, Paris, at Christmas 1954. It calls for unusual forces—male-voice chorus (TTBB), unison voices, two organs and an octet of brass instruments (three trumpets and five trombones). Two trumpets and two trombones play with the Great Organ (‘Grand Orgue’), the remaining brass with the Choir Organ (‘Orgue de Chœur’). The music is melodious and colourful, making much use of parallel fifths and octaves which suggest a twentieth-century update of early organum and give the music a solemn, monastic quality. The opening of the plainsong is prominent throughout the Mass.

from notes by Wadham Sutton © 1988

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