1 800 222 6872

Christmas Vespers at Westminster Cathedral / Baker, et al

Album Summary

>Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon : Gaude et laetare, Jerusalem, motet for 5 voices & continuo (Cantiones Sacrae no 18)
>Plainchant : Deus in adjutorium meum intende
>Chant, Gregorian : Rex pacificus, antiphon, mode 8
>Chant, Gregorian : Dixit Dominus (Psalm 109), alleluja
>Martin, Matthew : Organ Improvisation
>Chant, Gregorian : Magnificatus est, antiphon, mode 7
>Plainchant : Confiteantur Tibi Populi, antiphona in Choro
>Chant, Gregorian : Completi Sunt Dies Mariae, antiphon
>Chant, Gregorian : Beatus vir (Psalm 111), alleluja
>Plainchant : Work(s)
>Chant, Gregorian : Laudate dominum (psalmody alleluiaticum)
>Chant, Gregorian : Cum ortus fuerit sol de caelo, antiphon (1st Vespers, Nativity of Our Lord, 25 December)
>Tallis, Thomas : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, for 5 voices, P. 73
>Plainchant : Benedicamus Domino (Vitoria-Gasteiz Convent, Alava, 1692)
>Victoria, Tomás L. de : Alma Redemptoris mater, antiphon for 5 voices
>Schütz, Heinrich : Hodie Christus natus est, for soprano, tenor & continuo, SWV 315 (Op. 9/10)
>Langlais, Jean : Fête, for organ, Op. 51
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This disc presents an adorned version of the 'Office of Vespers' as it might be heard on the eve of Christmas in Westminster Cathedral, a building steeped in art, music and spirituality. The chant on this disc is the golden thread which runs throughout the entire liturgy, giving the Office a natural rhythm and inevitability as well as clarity of text and a beautiful language. It is complemented here by motets and canticles by Thomas Tallis, Tomas Luis de Victoria and Heinrich Schutz, while Jean Langlais's massive 'Fete' for organ concludes the service. The only cathedral choir in the world to sing mass and vespers liturgically every day, the Choir of Westminster Cathedral is perfectly placed to offer to the armchair listener this CD encapsulation of their very lifeblood, recorded here in the opulent acoustic of their own cathedral.

'Westminster Cathedral Choir and Martin Baker give us a rich evocation of the complete service of Vespers at the Cathedral as it is currently sung. If you close your eyes you can almost smell the incense' (MusicWeb International)

'With the glorious acoustical space of Westminster Cathedral, this disc has inbuilt atmosphere, enhanced by organ improvisations and by the choir's fluent singing of plainchant Latin antiphons and psalms as they might be heard at Christmas Eve Vespers ... The service has as its spiritual climax the five-part Magnificat by Tallis, sung with invigorating thrust and guts that contrast favourably with more guarded approaches to the Renaissance masters' (Daily Telegraph)

'The real value of this disc is the palpable sense of atmosphere in the listening. The service unfolds in the acoustic space of the great Byzantine structure, almost making the listener present ... This disc is quite unique, a hugely successful evocation of Catholic cathedral worship at its best' (Fanfare, USA)

'This issue presents a purified version of the Office of Vespers as it might be heard on Christmas Eve in Westminster Cathedral, a monument steeped in art, music and spirituality. The precious thread which runs throughout the whole liturgy on this disc is the 'chant' giving the office a rhythm rich in natural beauty as well as a clarity of text and expressive language. All this uplifting experience is complimented by motets and canticles by Tallis, Victoria and Schutz with Langalias' mighty 'Fête' for organ concluding this riveting service. The Cathedral Choir under Martin Baker sing their hearts out, and while intonation and ensemble are impeccable, it is the authentic love of this music that they so successfully bequeath to the listener' (Classical.net)

'Christmas comes with a combination of simplicity and stunning excitement in this recording' (American Record Guide)



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Works Details

>Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon : Gaude et laetare, Jerusalem, motet for 5 voices & continuo (Cantiones Sacrae no 18)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Deus in adjutorium meum intende
  • Performers: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ); Graham Titus (Cantor)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Rex pacificus, antiphon, mode 8
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Dixit Dominus (Psalm 109), alleluja
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Rex pacificus, antiphon, mode 8
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Martin, Matthew : Organ Improvisation
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Magnificatus est, antiphon, mode 7
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Confiteantur Tibi Populi, antiphona in Choro
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Magnificatus est, antiphon, mode 7
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Martin, Matthew : Organ Improvisation
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Completi Sunt Dies Mariae, antiphon
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Beatus vir (Psalm 111), alleluja
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Completi Sunt Dies Mariae, antiphon
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Martin, Matthew : Organ Improvisation
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Scitote (Psalm Antiphon)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Laudate pueri (Psalm)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Scitote (Psalm Antiphon)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Martin, Matthew : Organ Improvisation
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Levate (Psalm Antiphon)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Laudate dominum (psalmody alleluiaticum)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Levate (Psalm Antiphon)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Martin, Matthew : Organ Improvisation
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Apparuit benignitas (Chapter)
  • Performers: Richard Butler (Cantor); Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Responsorium breve
  • Performers: Nicholas Keay (Cantor); Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Christe redemptor omnium (Hymn)
  • Performers: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ); Benedict Payne (Treble)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Crastina die (Versicle)
  • Performers: Clifford Lister (Cantor); Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Chant, Gregorian : Cum ortus fuerit sol de caelo, antiphon (1st Vespers, Nativity of Our Lord, 25 December)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas

>Tallis, Thomas : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, for 5 voices, P. 73 :: Magnificat à 5
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Cum ortus fuerit (Magnificat Antiphon)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Tonus Orationis
  • Performers: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ); Graham Titus (Cantor)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Benedicamus Domino (Vitoria-Gasteiz Convent, Alava, 1692)
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Victoria, Tomás L. de : Alma Redemptoris mater, antiphon for 5 voices
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1572

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Post partum
  • Performers: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ); Graham Titus (Cantor)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Plainchant : Work(s) :: Elogium
  • Performers: Colin Campbell (Cantor); Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas

>Schütz, Heinrich : Hodie Christus natus est, for soprano, tenor & continuo, SWV 315 (Op. 9/10)
  • Performers: Ian Aitkenhead (Alto); Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ); Nicholas Mulroy (Tenor)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas

>Langlais, Jean : Fête, for organ, Op. 51
  • Performer: Matthew Martin [Composer/Organ] (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (02/21/2005/02/22/2005)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas