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Track(s) taken from CDA67330

Missa brevis

March 1965; commissioned by the Friends of Coventry Cathedral for the Choir of the Cathedral
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Polyphony, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Recording details: January 2002
Hereford Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2002
Total duration: 8 minutes 24 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Westminster Abbey Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)


'An outstanding collection' (Gramophone)

'What a splendid work it is, especially when sung with the verve brought to it by Stephen Layton’s choir Polyphony' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'Performances are vibrant and energetic, and attack the scrunchy harmonies with complete accuracy' (BBC Music Magazine)

'a wonderfully refreshing interpretation' (The Observer)

'This sterling collection should win Walton’s choral music many new fans' (American Record Guide)

'Every generation delivers an outstanding talent with the vision and commitment necessary to produce refreshingly individual, totally convincing interpretations. Stephen Layton's readings of Walton's choral music on this tremendous disc are without equal, supported by the high-octane, stylish singing of Polyphony and one of the finest recorded sounds I've heard for years. Layton sets a stately speed for the Coronation Te Deum, although the crisp brass fanfares of the Wallace Collection and articulate work from the choir convey a rare energy and exuberance. Buy it!’ (Classic FM Magazine)

'From fanfare to finale this is a very fine and fitting centenary compilation indeed' (Organists' Review)

'For Waltonians, this is a compulsory purchase' (HMV Choice)

'A great collection and an absolute winner' (Cathedral Music)

'On trouve chez Layton, avec des chœurs d’une beauté et d’une précision étonnantes, un surcroît de chaleur et d’investissement, ce qui place ce disque en tête de la discographie' (Répertoire, France)
The Missa brevis, commissioned for the choir of Coventry Cathedral, dates from 1965. The composer described it as ‘very brevis’, and indeed it is a notably compact work, expressly designed for liturgical use. The setting is unaccompanied until the Gloria, which comes last in the pattern of the Book of Common Prayer. The first three movements are rather austere in feel, but the Benedictus opens up at ‘Hosanna in the highest’ into a more opulent style. The Gloria starts with a quintessentially Waltonian burst of energy as the organ makes its surprise first appearance. There is an expressive treble solo in the centre before the closing choral section ‘For thou only art Holy’.

from notes by James O'Donnell © 2008

Commande du chœur de la cathédrale de Coventry, la Missa brevis date de 1965. Walton lui-même la qualifia de «very brevis» et, de fait, elle est remarquablement compacte, expressément vouée à un usage liturgique. Elle est sans accompagnement jusqu’au Gloria, qui vient en dernier dans le Book of Common Prayer. Les trois premiers mouvements dégagent une certaine austérité, tandis que le Benedictus s’ouvre à «Hosanna in the highest», dans un style plus opulent. Le Gloria commence par une explosion d’énergie toute waltonienne, lorsque l’orgue fait sa première apparition surprise. Le centre est marqué par un expressif solo de treble, avant la section chorale conclusive, «For thou only art Holy».

extrait des notes rédigées par James O'Donnell © 2008

Die Missa brevis war eine Auftragskomposition für den Chor der Kathedrale von Coventry und datiert von 1965. Der Komponist beschrieb sie als „sehr kurz“, und sie ist tatsächlich ein besonders kompaktes Werk, das ausdrücklich zum liturgischen Gebrauch bestimmt ist. Die Vertonung bleibt a cappella bis zum Gloria, das nach dem Muster im Book of Common Prayer zuletzt kommt. Die ersten drei Sätze vermitteln ein eher strenges Gefühl, aber das Benedictus lockert sich für „Hosanna in the highest“ in einen üppigeren Stil auf. Das Gloria beginnt mit einem typisch Waltonschen Energieausbruch im überraschenden ersten Einsatz der Orgel. In der Mitte folgt ein ausdrucksvolles Sopransolo, bevor der Chor mit „For thou only art Holy“ schließt.

aus dem Begleittext von James O'Donnell © 2008
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

Other albums featuring this work

The Feast of the Ascension at Westminster Abbey
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