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CD Review

Christmas Vespers at Westminster Cathedral

Hyperion 67522

Office of Vespers

Matthew Martin, organ
The Choir of Westminster Cathedral/Martin Baker
Hyperion CDA67522 68m DDD
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The celebration of Christ's birth is one of the most blissful feasts, not only in the Catholic Church's calendar but all throughout the world with most of the music written by many composers over the centuries principally aimed at embellishing Christmas liturgies.

This issue presents a purified version of the Office of Vespers as it might be heard on Christmas Eve in Westminster Cathedral, a monument steeped in art, music and spirituality. The precious thread which runs throughout the whole liturgy on this disc is the 'chant' giving the office a rhythm rich in natural beauty as well as a clarity of text and expressive language.

All this uplifting experience is complimented by motets and canticles by Tallis, Victoria and Schutz with Langalias' mighty 'Fête' for organ concluding this riveting service. The Cathedral Choir under Martin Baker sing their hearts out, and while intonation and ensemble are impeccable, it is the authentic love of this music that they so successfully bequeath to the listener. A lovely disc which brings true tidings of joy at this lovely time of the year.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet