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High marks not just for the CD, but for the Exon Singers’ splendid 50-year story, which this recording celebrates. Three new pieces were written, by Richard Wilberforce and Gareth Treseder, for this recording. The others, including the opening Ave Virgo sanctissima by Howard Skempton (who celebrates his 70th birthday this year), come from the Exon’s substantial book, though by no means haphazardly. This is a thoughtfully programmed hour of sacred music, with the rhythm – if not strictly the content – of a full Anglo-Catholic service. The singing is bright and committed and the soloists are particularly strong on a sequence of motets by Treseder, Joseph Phibbs and Gabriel Jackson, in themselves a strong sign of the choir’s commitment to new music.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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