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Central to this programme is the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s Our present charter, commissioned for the Choir of the Temple Church to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. The text consists of words from the Magna Carta together with unique settings of ‘Thy Kingdom Come, O God’ and The Beatitudes. By its very nature the text is partly narrative, and this young American composer displays a refreshingly original approach to his writing.

Sitting alongside Muhly’s piece is Walton’s The Twelve written for the Feast of the Apostles, again with a partly narrative text by W.H. Auden. Full of Waltonian flair and invention, Auden’s penetrating words are given a powerful interpretation by this fine choir under Roger Sayer. Joining this narrative group of works is VW’s Valiant-for-Truth. Sensitive interpretations enhance the excellence of the singing throughout this testing programme, which displays a group of choir soloists who never falter. Tavener’s mysticism in music brings a moment of quiet reflection and the disc ends with Haydn’s joyous Te Deum in C, the choir sounding as if they are also enjoying every minute of it. Highly recommended.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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