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Missa Aedis Christi

author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Howells composed this mass for the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The Latin title translates as ‘Mass of the House of Christ’ and so it is appropriate that it should be included in this recording by the choir of that cathedral’s namesake in Dublin. The text, with the exception of the opening Kyrie, is that of the Book of Common Prayer service of Holy Communion. The Mass was finished in 1958 and received its first performance in February 1962 at a liturgical celebration in Oxford when the choir was directed by Dr Sydney Watson. The late 1950s were the years in which Howells’ post-war career as a composer of church music really took off, and the music that he wrote at this time shows him at the height of his powers as a master of line, of counterpoint, of texture and of softly dissonant, sensuous harmony achieved as a result of all these elements. In listening to this music, the worshippers (or their secular counterparts) are surrounded by a sensual, impressionist waft of sound that transports and enhances the spirituality it so admirably serves.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2008


Howells: I love all beauteous things & other choral and organ music
SIGCD151Download only


Movement 1: Kyrie
Track 4 on SIGCD151 [4'33] Download only
Movement 2: Gloria
Track 6 on SIGCD151 [4'10] Download only
Movement 3: Credo
Track 8 on SIGCD151 [6'15] Download only
Movement 4: Sanctus
Track 11 on SIGCD151 [1'36] Download only
Movement 5: Benedictus
Track 12 on SIGCD151 [1'10] Download only
Movement 6: Agnus Dei
Track 14 on SIGCD151 [2'17] Download only

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