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Christmas Vespers at Westminster Cathedral Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, November 14, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Gaude & laetare - Deus in audiutorium - Rex pacificus / Matthew Martin, orgue - The Choir of Westminster Cathedral, dir. Martin Baker

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Gaude Et Laetare
  2. Deus In Adiutorium
  3. Psalm Antiphon
  4. Dixit Dominus
  5. Rex Pacificus Magnificatus Est
  6. Organ Improvisation
  7. Magnifcatus Est Rex Pacificus Super Omnes Reges Universae Terrae
  8. Confitebor Tibi
  9. Magnificatus Est Rex Pacificus
  10. Organ Improvisation
  11. Completi Sunt Dies Mariae, Ut Pareret Filium Suum Primogenitum
  12. Beatus Vir
  13. Completi Sunt Dies Mariae
  14. Organ Improvisation
  15. Psalm Antiphon
  16. Laudate Pueri
  17. Scitote Quia Prope Est Regnum Dei
  18. Organ Improvisation
  19. Levate Capitva Vestra: Ecce Apprpinquabit Redemptio Vestra
  20. Laudate Dominum Omnes Gentes
  21. Levate Capita Vestra
  22. Organ Improvisation
  23. Apparuit Benignitas Et Humanitas Salvatoris Nostri Dei
  24. Responsorium Breve
  25. Christe Redemptor Omnium
  26. Crastina Die
  27. Magnificat Antiphon
  28. Magnificat
  29. Cum Ortus Fuerit Sol De Caelo
  30. Tonus Orationis
  31. Benedicamus Domino
  32. Alma Redemptoris Mater
  33. Post Partum
  34. Elogium
  35. Hodie Christus Natus Est
  36. Fete


Product Details

  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Composer: Jan Pietersoon Sweelinck, Thomas Tallis
  • Audio CD (November 14, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: HYPERION
  • ASIN: B000I8OIGG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,388 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By D. Lamoureux on November 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Westminster Cathedral Choir does consistently fine work: one can always depend on their precision, musicality and good taste. Their sound is bright and forward, more like a French choral sound than the usually darker English sound. The lush, reverberant acoustics of the cathedral are a joy, particularly when the organ is used.

This is such a beautiful CD; it was just released this month. Here is Roman Catholic liturgy at its finest. You can't listen to this prayerful music, so beautifully sung, and not lament the Church's widespread misunderstanding of the Vatican II liturgy directives, which stated that Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony and the use of the organ should continue to have "pride of place" in the reformed Roman liturgy. Instead, in our zeal to be contemporary, which is a legitimate concern, we have succeeded in cutting ourselves off from centuries of our tradition, and we are the poorer for it.

And so this recording is all the more precious. I think what I enjoy the most here is not the polyphonic motets, which are lovely but which can be found elsewhere. It's the chanted psalmody, especially since chant in the Liturgy of the Hours is relatively under-recorded, compared to the flowering of recordings of chant in the Mass. The beauty of Westminster's chant touches us, as it moves along at a reflective, unhurried pace. It's accompanied by the organ, which is not authentic, but for many of us it's a guilty pleasure, and it's very well done here. The organ also comments on the psalmody in brief improvisations which are a pleasure in themselves.

Five stars aren't really enough to give justice to this fine recording. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Audio CD
The choir of Westminster Cathedral righlty enjoy their reputation as world class liturgical musicians and their current Master, Martin Baker, has continued and augmented the tradition of musical and liturgical excellence for which his choir is renown.

This disk is not new, but revisiting it at Christmas each year is a pure joy. Whilst it is something of a liturgical melange between the older Roman rite of Vespers and the monastic rite, and is probably not a recording of Vespers as ever celebrated at Westminster Cathedral, it collects the finest elements of the tradition and and arranges them in a liturgical order - which makes for a beautiful CD exsquisitely rendered. Without doubt it is worth its price for the recording of the Christmas Vesper hymn 'Christe redemptor omnium' alone, but there is much here for those who love the chant and the liturgy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Westminster Cathedral choir is renown & every recording I have of theirs seems better than the next. This collection of sung Vespers for Christmas is simply glorious. The mixture of mens' & boys' voices is outstanding, as is the mix of Gregorian chant with polyphonic music. The amazing pipe organ pieces were an unexpected bonus. A wonderful way to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. I may give this as a Christmas gift to my fellow choristers next year.
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