Another fascinating collection from Westminster Abbey, recreating a particular liturgical event.
This disc contains music one might hear if visiting the Abbey on its patronal feast, that of St Peter the Apostle, which falls on 29 June. The programme broadly follows the structure of the three major choral services of the Anglican tradition, all of which can in turn be traced back to the worship familiar in the pre-Reformation period when the Abbey was a Benedictine monastery: Matins (or Morning Prayer); Eucharist (Mass); and Evensong (Evening Prayer). The two principal musical elements are William Byrd’s Mass for five voices, and, linking the morning and evening Offices, four movements from Charles Villiers Stanford’s Service in B flat. Also featured is Walton’s choral masterpiece The Twelve.
The Abbey choir sings with its usual full-throated joy, expertly directed by James O’Donnell.