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Vexilla Regis: A sequence of music from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday

The Choir of Westminster Cathedral is world famous for its staple of plainsong and polyphony. The choir explores a wealth of music from this repertoire for the richest of liturgical seasons: Holy Week. Masterpieces of the Renaissance by William Byrd and Tomás Luis de Victoria are woven together with ancient Gregorian chants, including Pange lingua and Adoro te, and later penitential works by Anton Bruckner and Maurice Duruflé. Three of the Cathedral’s illustrious Masters of Music, all of whom have contributed to the Church’s treasury of liturgical music, are also represented. The sequence culminates in a setting of Saint John Henry Newman’s poem Praise to the Holiest in the height by Sir Richard Runciman Terry, the Cathedral’s pioneering Master of Music.

A really well-curated Easter pilgrimage; the singing is fine throughout, and so is the recording in Buckfast Abbey.’ (BBC Radio 3 Record Review)

★★★★★  ‘Choir & Organ needs an extra five-star summa cum laude category for discs like this… [Westminster Cathedral Choir’s] journey through Holy Week demonstrates, as you would expect, their unique skill in singing Gregorian chant…combined with an aspiration towards musical perfection and beauty that is unerringly achieved. The same exquisite balance between musical and spiritual intention can be heard throughout the disc...’ (Choir & Organ)

★★★★★ ‘As one would expect, all is sung with appropriate passion, dignified devotion, sublime intensity, and solemn beauty. This world-class and distinctive choir sounds as superb as ever.’ (Organists’ Review)

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Track List

1

George Malcolm

Ingrediente Domino

2:42

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2

Gregorian chant

Psalm 21: Deus, Deus meus

3:19

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3

Gregorian chant

Credo I

5:16

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4

Orlando de Lassus

Improperium exspectavit

3:07

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5

Gregorian chant

Hymn: Vexilla regis prodeunt

4:15

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6

William Byrd

Ne irascaris Domine

5:07

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7

William Byrd

Civitas sancti tui

5:20

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8

Gregorian chant

Introit: Nos autem gloriari oportet

2:46

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9

James O’Donnell

Acclamation: I give you a new commandment

1:45

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10

Martin Baker

Postquam surrexit Dominus

6:12

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11

Maurice Duruflé

Ubi caritas et amor
(Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens)

2:27

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12

Gregorian chant

Hymn: Adoro te devote

4:02

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13

Anton Bruckner

Christus factus est

6:04

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14

Tomás Luis de Victoria

Improperia

5:28

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15

Gregorian chant

Hymn: Pange lingua gloriosi

4:31

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16

Antonio Lotti

Crucifixus à 8

3:41

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17

Gregorian chant

Hymn: Christe cœlorum Domine

2:54

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18

Gregorian chant

Psalm 23: The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness

3:15

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19

Felice Anerio

Christus factus est

2:39

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20

Anonymous Liturgical

Strepitus

0:40

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21

Richard Runciman Terry

Praise to the Holiest in the height

3:53

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