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Two discs of John Sheppard landed on my desk at once, each representing one side of the reformation divide, with the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, concentrating mostly on Latin works Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria and the Academia Musica Choir from Hereford Sixth Form College anthologising rare vernacular material in The Church Music of John Sheppard. St John’s brings depth, energy, vocal colour and drive to the Western Wynde Mass and the technical ability of the boys is striking in an SACD recording that is coolly three-dimensional. Academia Musica, stiffened by their vocal tutors, include some recorded premieres on their less glossy production, and their admirably aspirational singing, moulded with sensitivity by Aryan O. Arji, may one day give Oxbridge collegiate choirs a run for their money.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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