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Three Latin motets

First line:
2004; No 1: SSATB quintet, SSA(A)TB unaccompanied; No 2: SS(S)A unaccompanied; No 3: SSAAT(T)B(B) unaccompanied; commissioned for the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir
author of text
Antiphons to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Each of the chosen texts for the Three Latin motets (2004) is addressed to the Virgin Mary. The first, Ave regina, for full choir, is a deeply expressive response to the ‘queen of heaven … from whom light for the world has arisen’. The serene opening phrase is alluded to in passages of greater intensity, but its restatement at the end is soft and tender. Ave regina was among the forty-four anthems included in Choirbook for the Queen, a collection commissioned by Prince Charles to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Ave Maria is the most intimate of the Three Latin motets. Scored for upper voices only, this haunting and gentle supplication to the virgin grows from its plainchant-like beginning, and embraces expressive dissonances and suspensions as it unfolds. The last of McDowall’s Three Latin motets is Regina caeli. This paean of praise to the ‘Queen of heaven’ is a glorious Easter antiphon with dramatic changes of mood and texture. A series of stately, slow-moving choral ‘alleluias’ is juxtaposed with passages of spirited, dance-like material before the closing jubilant chords fade away. The Three Latin motets were commissioned for the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir, who premiered the sacred trilogy under the direction of George Vass at St Mary of Charity Church, Faversham, Kent, in April 2004.

from notes by Paul Conway © 2021


McDowall: Sacred choral music
Studio Master: CDA68251Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


No 1: Ave regina
Track 8 on CDA68251 [2'46]
No 2: Ave Maria
Track 9 on CDA68251 [3'31]
No 3: Regina caeli  Alleluia
Track 10 on CDA68251 [3'05]

Track-specific metadata for CDA68251 track 10

Regina caeli
Recording date
11 January 2020
Recording venue
Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. McDowall: Sacred choral music (CDA68251)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: April 2021
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