The Choir of Westminster Abbey
Robert Quinney organ
James O'Donnell conductor
This critically acclaimed recording from The Choir of Westminster Abbey on Hyperion explores the rich repertoire of music associated with the Feast of the Ascension. Ascension Day is a particular moment of celebration within the annual round of Easter praise and is celebrated in glorious and triumphal language. The works recorded range from the intricate and joyful writing of sixteenth-century composer Peter Philips to fascinating and appealing pieces by contemporary composers. Along the way are works from the great flowering of English cathedral music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the Missa Brevis and Chichester Service by Sir William Walton, together with works by Britten, Finzi, Stanford and Vaughan Williams.
“This addition to Westminster Abbey's invaluable series of music for feast-days gets off to a cracking start with Stanford's magnificent eight-part motet Caelos ascendit hodie. This sets a jubilant tone for the whole programme, which contains some outstanding 20th-century contributions to the Anglican repertoire, including Britten's Festival Te Deum with its exciting organ effects, Finzi's triumphant God Is Gone Up and Patrick Gowers's Viri Galilaei, whose meditative opening leads to a paean of exultation. All these, and Schutz's Der 100. Psalm, are sung with exhilarating panache.” (Daily Telegraph)