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Westminster Cathedral Choir

London's Westminster Cathedral is the leading Catholic Church in England. The Benedictine monks who built and owned Westminster Abbey reclaimed part of the marsh around Westminster. Over the centuries, the land has had several uses. The monks operated a market and a fairgrounds there. After the Protestant Reformation in England, the land was used as a maze, a pleasure garden, and as a bull-baiting ring.

Westminster Abbey (by that time property of the Church of England) sold the land for use as a prison. When the prison was retired approaching the turn of the 19th century, the Roman Catholic Church acquired the land in 1884 for a new major Cathedral Church. It is actually one of the newest major churches in London. Its design, by John Francis Bently, is based on early Christian Byzantine architecture, with a strikingly tall bell tower. Its foundation stone was laid in 1895, and the Cathedral was consecrated in 1910. Its interior is not yet completed.

From the initial planning of the Cathedral by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, music was given great weight in the church's activities. Cardinal Vaughan had been inspired by the Solesmes Abbey's revival of Gregorian Chant and by the accomplishments of the Anglican Church's choral tradition. Music is the largest single item in the Cathedral's budget. It operates a full-time choral school for its choristers. Westminster Cathedral is the only church in the world that celebrates a fully sung Mass every day.

The Westminster Cathedral Choir, among a few others, can credibly be called the best choir in Europe. Sir Richard Terry, the church's first Master of Music, was a devoted scholar of pre-Baroque polyphonic church music and revived choral masterpieces of Tudor-era English composers and their contemporaries on the Continent. He also vigorously championed new composition. Over the years composers of the stature of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lennoc Berkeley, Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten, Herbert Howells, William Mathias, and David Sanger have composed for the Cathedral Choir

It made one of the earliest British choral recordings, an acoustic disc cut in 1908. In the compact disc age, it has made a highly acclaimed series of recordings for the British label Hyperion, ranging in repertory from Renaissance polyphony to music of Britten, Poulenc, Langlais, and Stravinsky. It sings concerts and tours as its church service schedule permits, and frequently broadcasts. It joined the Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral (the largest Anglican Church) in 1992 to inaugurate that church's newly-restored organ. ~ Joseph Stevenson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: MacMillan: Tenebrae Responsories & Other Choral Works

Composer: James MacMillan
Title: Tu Es Petrus

1. Tu Es Petrus: Macmillan: Tu Es Petrus

Composer: Anonymous
Title: Dignus Est Agnus

2. Dignus Est Agnus: Anon: Dignus Est Agnus

Composer: James MacMillan
Title: Tenebrae Responsories, For Chorus

3. Tenebrae Responsories, For Chorus: I. Tenebrae Factae Sunt

4. Tenebrae Responsories, For Chorus: II. Tradiderunt Me

5. Tenebrae Responsories, For Chorus: III. Jesum Tradidit Impius

Title: Summae Trinitati

6. Summae Trinitati: Macmillan: Summae Trinitati

Title: Benedictus Deus, For Chorus

7. Benedictus Deus, For Chorus: Macmillan: Benedictus Deus

Title: Ave Maris Stella

8. Ave Maris Stella: Macmillan: Ave Maris Stella

Title: Tota Pulchra Es, For Chorus & Organ

9. Tota Pulchra Es, For Chorus & Organ: Macmillan: Tota Pulchra Es

Title: After Virtue

10. After Virtue: Macmillan: After Virtue

Title: Serenity, For Chorus & Organ

11. Serenity, For Chorus & Organ: Macmillan: Serenity

Title: The Edinburgh Te Deum

12. The Edinburgh Te Deum: Macmillan: The Edinburgh Te Deum

Title: Ecce Sacerdos Magnus

13. Ecce Sacerdos Magnus: Macmillan: Ecce Sacerdos Magnus

Title: Tu Es Petrus

14. Tu Es Petrus: Processional

x

Track List: Martin Baker, Westminister Cathedral Choir

Title: Missa Parvula, For Unison Treble Chrous & Organ

1. Missa Parvula, For Unison Treble Chrous & Organ: I. Kyrie

2. Missa Parvula, For Unison Treble Chrous & Organ: II. Gloria

3. Missa Parvula, For Unison Treble Chrous & Organ: III. Credo

4. Missa Parvula, For Unison Treble Chrous & Organ: IV. Sanctus - Benedictus

5. Missa Parvula, For Unison Treble Chrous & Organ: V. Agnus Dei

Title: Mass, For SATB Chorus & Organ With Optional 2nd Organ, J. 333

6. Mass, For SATB Chorus & Organ With Optional 2nd Organ, J. 333: I. Kyrie

7. Mass, For SATB Chorus & Organ With Optional 2nd Organ, J. 333: II. Gloria

8. Mass, For SATB Chorus & Organ With Optional 2nd Organ, J. 333: III. Credo

9. Mass, For SATB Chorus & Organ With Optional 2nd Organ, J. 333: IV. Sanctus - Benedictus

10. Mass, For SATB Chorus & Organ With Optional 2nd Organ, J. 333: V. Agnus Dei

Title: Veni Creator Spiritus, For Organ, J. 332

11. Veni Creator Spiritus, For Organ, J. 332: Veni Creator Spiritus

Title: Dum Complerentur, For Chorus & Optional Organ

12. Dum Complerentur, For Chorus & Optional Organ: Dum Complerentur

Title: Reliqui Domum Meum, For Organ Solo, J. 281

13. Reliqui Domum Meum, For Organ Solo, J. 281: Reliqui Domum Meum

Title: Veni Sancte Spiritus, For Chorus & Optional Organ

14. Veni Sancte Spiritus, For Chorus & Optional Organ: Veni Sancte Spiritus

x

Track List: Victoria: O Magnum Mysterium; Ascendens Christus in altum

Title: O Magnum Mysterium, Motet For 4 Voices

1. O Magnum Mysterium, Motet For 4 Voices: O Magnum Mysterium

Title: Missa O Magnum Mysterium, For 4 Voices

2. Missa O Magnum Mysterium, For 4 Voices: Kyrie

3. Missa O Magnum Mysterium, For 4 Voices: Gloria

4. Missa O Magnum Mysterium, For 4 Voices: Credo

5. Missa O Magnum Mysterium, For 4 Voices: Sanctus

6. Missa O Magnum Mysterium, For 4 Voices: Benedictus

7. Missa O Magnum Mysterium, For 4 Voices: Agnus Dei

Title: Ascendens Christus In Altum, Motet For 5 Voices

8. Ascendens Christus In Altum, Motet For 5 Voices: Ascendens Christus In Altum, Motet For 5 Voices

Title: Missa Ascendens Christus, For 5 Voices

9. Missa Ascendens Christus, For 5 Voices: Kyrie

10. Missa Ascendens Christus, For 5 Voices: Gloria

11. Missa Ascendens Christus, For 5 Voices: Credo

12. Missa Ascendens Christus, For 5 Voices: Sanctus

13. Missa Ascendens Christus, For 5 Voices: Benedictus

14. Missa Ascendens Christus, For 5 Voices: Agnus Dei

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