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Hail! Queen of Heaven

Music in honour of the Virgin Mary

The Cambridge Singers
John Rutter (conductor)

CD: £9.00
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This recording, made in the architecturally and acoustically glorious setting of the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral by the 28 mixed voices of the Cambridge Singers, gathers together 21 examples of the extraordinary wealth of choral music inspired by the Virgin Mary, from Gregorian chant to the 20th-century sounds of Gustav Holst, Herbert Howells, Pierre Villette, Igor Stravinsky and Giles Swayne.

Track list

  1. Alma Redemptoris Mater (Gregorian chant)
  2. Ave Virgo sanctissima (Guerrero)
  3. There is no rose of such virtue (Anon.)
  4. Ave Maria (for four voices) (Victoria)
  5. Ave Virgo gloriosa (Richard Dering)
  6. Ave Regina caelorum (Gregorian chant)
  7. Stabat Mater (Palestrina)
  8. Ave Maria (Bruckner)
  9. Laudi alla Vergine Maria (Verdi)
  10. Ave Maria (Stravinsky)
  11. Dostoino Yest (Tchaikovsky)
  12. Regina caeli laetare (Gregorian chant)
  13. Regina caeli (Howells)
  14. Hail! Blessed Virgin Mary (arr. Wood)
  15. Hymne à la Vierge (Villette)
  16. Magnificat (Swayne)
  17. Salve Regina (Gregorian chant)
  18. Alleluia, Ave Maria (Byrd)
  19. Vidi speciosam (Victoria)
  20. Ave Maria (Gustav Holst)
  21. Ave Maria (for double choir) (Victoria)

“It would be hard to imagine a lovelier disc. Individual items give great pleasure but the programme has been so planned that it is perhaps best enjoyed by listening straight through” MusicWeb International

“The performances are of a high standard and well recorded.” Classic CD

“…splendid singing, lively and fresh as always, and beautifully recorded too…” Church Music Quarterly

“The chosen pieces encompass a range of styles but the choir performs everything with easy, natural musicianship. The 28 voices blend beautifully. The basses are firm but sound youthfully supple; there is no hint of undue heaviness. The soprano line is possessed of a lovely, ethereal purity (without ever sounding ‘pale’ or ‘white’) while the inner parts are woven into the texture smoothly and seamlessly. It would be hard to imagine a lovelier disc. Individual items give great pleasure but the programme has been so planned that it is perhaps best enjoyed by listening straight through, just allowing a few minutes pause between each of the sections. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved by a smallish choir of expert singers under the direction of a first-class choral conductor. It is a disc which is even more attractive now that it has been reissued at medium price. It has given me a great deal of pleasure over the last ten years or so and I have no hesitation in recommending it to new listeners and to those who may have missed it first time round.” MusicWeb International

“If you thought there was only one”Ave Maria” think again. Here we have five of them (two by Victoria and others by Bruckner, Stravinski and Holst) and in total 21 songs”in honour of the Virgin Mary”. The collection follows the church calendar with music for”Advent to Candlemas”,”Candlemas to Holy Week”,”Easter to the Sunday after Pentecost” and”Trinity to Advent”. The Cambridge Singers are first class and this mid-price reissue (recorded in Ely Cathedral in 1992) has been thoughtfully compiled, attractively packaged and is excellent value for money.” Cross Rhythms

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