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04 June 2023
Vexilla Regis: A Sequence of Music from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday

The Choir of Westminster Cathedral
Martin Baker (director)
Peter Stevens (organ)

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.


George Malcolm: Ingrediente Domino

Gregorian Chant : Psalm 21: Deus, Deus meus

Gregorian Chant : Credo I

Orlando de Lassus: Improperium exspectavit

Gregorian Chant : Vexilla regis prodeunt

William Byrd: Ne irascaris, Domine

William Byrd: Civitas sancti tui

Gregorian Chant : Nos autem gloriari oportet

James O'Donnell: I give you a new commandment

Martin Baker: Postquam surrexit Dominus

Maurice Duruflé: Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens

I. Ubi caritas et amor

Gregorian Chant : Adoro te devote

Anton Bruckner: Christus factus est

Tomás Luis de Victoria: Improperia

Gregorian Chant : Pange lingua gloriosi

Antonio Lotti: Crucifixus à 8

Gregorian Chant : Christe coelorum Domine

Gregorian Chant : The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness

Felice Anerio: Christus factus est

Anonymous Liturgical: Strepitus

Richard Runciman Terry: Praise to the Holiest in the height

Recorded at Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK on 30th March –1st April 2019
Recording Engineer: David Hinitt
Recording Producer: Matthew Martin
Assistant Producer: Matthew Searles
Executive Producer: Philip Arkwright
Organ maintained by Gary Owens
Total Time: 79:22
Release Date: March 2023

The Choir of Westminster CathedralWestminster Cathedral Choir is acclaimed as one of the world’s great choirs. Since its foundation in 1903 it has occupied a unique and enviable position at the forefront of English church music, not least because of the groundbreaking work of its first Master of Music, Sir Richard Runciman Terry, who revived the great works of the English and continental Renaissance composers. The choir’s fame grew under Terry as it presented this forgotten music, revolutionising attitudes to the repertoire. Innovation continued under George Malcolm who pioneered the development of the choir’s sound along continental lines, resulting in a choir that was truly revolutionary in both what and how it sang. The choir continues these traditions under its present Master of Music, Martin Baker, and it remains the only Catholic cathedral choir in the world to sing daily Mass and Vespers. More recent holders of the post have included Colin Mawby, Sir Stephen Cleobury, David Hill and James O’Donnell.

The choir’s reputation is ever-expanding and it continues to reach new audiences through its series of acclaimed recordings. In 1998 the choir was awarded the Gramophone Awards for ‘Best Choral Recording of the Year’ and ‘Record of the Year’ for the performance of Frank Martin’s Messe and Pizzetti’s Requiem. The choir has a history of commissioning and performing new music, famous examples being Britten’s Missa Brevis for boys’ voices, the Mass in G minor by Vaughan Williams and compositions by Wood, Holst and Howells. Within the last decade the choir has commissioned new Masses from Sir James MacMillan, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Judith Bingham, Sir John Tavener, Matthew Martin and Stephen Hough, all of which were first performed in the context of the regular liturgies at Westminster Cathedral.

Westminster Cathedral Choir features frequently on radio and television. When its busy liturgical schedule permits, it takes its music further afield. In addition to regular concerts around the UK, recent tours have included Hungary, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the USA.

Martin Baker (organ)Born in Manchester in 1967, Martin Baker studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Chetham’s School of Music, and Downing College, Cambridge, then held positions at London’s Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedrals before being appointed to Westminster Abbey at the age of 24. In 2000 he returned to Westminster Cathedral as Master of Music, where he is responsible for directing the world renowned choir in its daily choral programme and busy schedule of concerts, tours and recordings. Martin Baker is also much sought after as an organist, playing frequent solo concerts in the UK and around the world.



Peter Stevens (organ)Peter Stevens is Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral. Born in Lancashire in 1987, he was educated at Chetham’s School of Music, subsequently holding organ scholarships at Manchester Cathedral, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and King’s College, Cambridge. He came to Westminster Cathedral in 2010, taking up his present position the following year. In addition to accompanying the Cathedral Choir in their daily services, recordings and concerts, he has given solo recitals across the UK and Europe. In 2013 Peter became Director of the Schola Cantorum of the Edington Festival, following three years as Festival Organist. His teachers have included Thomas Trotter, David Briggs, and Colin Walsh.





AF002     View Booklet     UPC: 0793591948515

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