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Messe Da Pacem: Music by Pierre Villette, Yves Castagnet and Ravel

The Choir of Royal Holloway presents the debut recording of Pierre Villette’s Messe Da Pacem in a new arrangement for choir and organ by Rupert Gough. Alongside the Mass is Villette’s well-known Hymne à la Vierge, and works by contemporary Parisian composer Yves Castagnet recorded here for the first time. The album opens with a new choral arrangement of Ravel’s ever-popular Pavane pour une infante défunte. The Choir is joined by alumna, and award-winning soprano, Sarah Fox, and accompanied on the newly restored Cavaillé-Coll organ of Notre-Dame d’Auteuil in Paris.

★★★★★  ‘Think the soundworld of Debussy and Duruflé, occasionally inflected by jazz-derived harmonies and some churchy counterpoint, and you have Villette’s appealing musical style. …this disc offers an intriguing and revealing listen. The whole programme showcases the choir’s near-ideal blend and fresh, open tone, supported by sensitive organ accompaniment.’ (Choir & Organ)

The performances are simply superb… This is a distinguished release in every respect and lovers of French choral music should hasten to hear it.’ (MusicWeb International)

Ad Fontes, the recently established Buckfast Abbey-based recording label have done themselves proud with their fourth disc. It enjoys striking clarity… and includes a lavish booklet, complete with organ specifications, comprehensive notes and Latin texts. Once again, the Royal Holloway Choir is on superb form, responding to this glorious music with fresh, well-balanced voices, and overall makes this one of the most rewarding discs I’ve reviewed all year.’ (Opera Today)

★★★★  ‘This disc presents a fine collection of similarly composed French liturgical music, well performed by the young singers from Royal Holloway College… The singing and organ playing is excellent throughout.’ (Organists’ Review)

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Track List

1

Maurice Ravel
arr. Rupert Gough

Requiem æternam

7:07

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Pierre Villette

Messe Da Pacem (Op. 38)

2

Kyrie

4:13

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3

Gloria

14:11

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4

Sanctus

5:17

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5

Benedictus

5:31

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6

Agnus Dei

5:26

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7

Pierre Villette

Élévation (Op. 22)

3:45

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8

Pierre Villette

Hymne à la Vierge (Op. 24)

4:41

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9

Pierre Villette

Salutation angélique (Op. 20)

3:05

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Yves Castagnet

Messe Brève

10

Kyrie

1:44

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11

Gloria

4:48

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12

Sanctus & Benedictus

2:09

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13

Agnus Dei

2:58

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14

Yves Castagnet

Veni Sancte Spiritus

9:32

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