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This fascinating and finely executed collection of anthems and motets explores facets of the Virgin Mary – mother, human, God-bearer, suppliant and Queen of Heaven. The material ranges from figures such as Byrd (his rarely heard Salve Regina), Parsons and Bruckner through to the present day. Most welcome are world premiere recordings of four Marian antiphons from women composers – Judith Weir, Kerry Andrew, Hannah Kendall and Dobrinka Tabakova – commissioned by the College as part of the Merton Choirbook, as well as a premiere recording of Gabriel Jackson. The 35-strong mixed voice choir possesses perfect intonation and blend. Under Nicholas’s and Phillips’s expert direction, they are as accomplished in the contemporary material as they are in the music from the 16th century. This is a disc not to be missed.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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