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Track(s) taken from CDA67970

Tu es Petrus

2010; SATB choir, brass, timpani, percussion & organ; written for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, to whom the work is dedicated, to Westminster Cathedral in 2010
author of text
Matthew 16: 18-19

Westminster Cathedral Choir, London Brass, Martin Baker (conductor), Peter Stevens (organ)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
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 12 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


'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)
Tu es Petrus was written for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Westminster Cathedral in 2010. The text—‘You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church’—was the perfect choice for the visit of St Peter’s successor. This is a great occasional piece for a ceremonial occasion. MacMillan wrote of it: ‘As an ex-brass player myself, who loves writing for voices, it was very exciting to be invited to combine the two sounds with percussion and organ in Tu es Petrus and, the previous year, in Summae Trinitati. It was with immense pride that I wrote this work for the visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Cathedral. Martin Baker had remembered a particular percussion sound in an earlier work of mine The Birds of Rhiannon which involved beating on large metal sheets, and we discussed their use in this piece. In the end I decided against them as I didn’t want to terrify the Pope! The piece is noisy enough as it stands, and I remember being taken aback at the rehearsal when the tumult filled the Cathedral.’

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2013

Tu es Petrus fut écrit pour la visite du pape Benoît XVI à la cathédrale de Westminster, en 2010. Le texte—«Tu es Pierre et sur cette pierre je bâtirai mon église»—convenait parfaitement à la visite du successeur de saint Pierre. Voici ce que MacMillan écrivit à propos de cette grande pièce de circonstance à vocation cérémonielle: «Étant moi-même un ex-cuivre qui adore écrire pour les voix, j’ai trouvé absolument passionnant d’être invité à combiner les deux sonorités avec la percussion et l’orgue dans Tu es Petrus et, l’année passée, dans Summae Trinitati. C’est avec une immense fierté que j’ai écrit cette œuvre pour la visite de Sa Sainteté le pape Benoît XVI à la cathédrale. Martin Baker se souvenait d’un certain son de percussion dans une de mes pièces, The Birds of Rhiannon, où il fallait frapper de grandes plaques métalliques, et nous avons discuté de leur utilisation dans cette œuvre. Finalement, j’y ai renoncé, car je ne voulais pas terrifier le pape! Cette œuvre est assez bruyante comme cela, et je me rappelle avoir eu un mouvement de recul, en répétition, en entendant le tumulte emplir la cathédrale.»

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

Tu es Petrus entstand anlässlich des Besuchs Papst Benedikts XVI. an der Westminster Cathedral im Jahre 2010. Der Text—„Du bist Petrus, und auf diesem Felsen werde ich meine Kirche bauen“—war die ideale Wahl für den Besuch des Nachfolgers des heiligen Petrus. Es handelt sich hierbei um ein großartiges Gelegenheitswerk für einen festlichen Anlass. MacMillan schrieb dazu: „Als ehemaliger Blechbläser, der sehr gerne für Stimmen schreibt, war es äußerst aufregend für mich, die Aufforderung zu erhalten, diese beiden Klangspektren mit Schlagzeug und Orgel in Tu es Petrus und, im Jahr davor, in Summae Trinitati zu verbinden. Ich war sehr stolz darauf, dieses Werk für den Besuch der Kathedrale durch Seine Heiligkeit Papst Benedikt XVI. zu komponieren. Martin Baker war noch ein bestimmter Perkussionsklang aus einem meiner früheren Werke, The Birds of Rhiannon, in Erinnerung, in dem unter anderem große Metallbleche geschlagen werden. Wir besprachen den Einsatz solcher Bleche in diesem Stück, doch entschied ich mich letztendlich dagegen, weil ich den Papst ja nicht erschrecken wollte! Das Stück ist schon so laut genug und ich weiß noch, wie verblüfft ich bei der Probe war, als in der Kathedrale sozusagen Tumult ausbrach.“

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

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