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The main work on this disc is American composer Gary Davison’s nine-movement Requiem, Missa pro defunctis, set to the full liturgical Latin text of the Roman rite. The scoring – for chorus, organ, viola and mezzo-soprano soloist – is innovative. Davison pays tribute to past composers, but with his own individuality. The music veers from the drama of the ‘Dies irae’ to the tender lyricism of the ‘Dominus regit me’, with an inspiring combination of viola and mezzo-soprano. Throughout, Davison’s colouring of the text, use of voices in various combinations, and innovative organ part (performed with creative insight by David Bednall) make this a very welcome addition to the catalogue for either liturgical or concert use. The remaining works on the disc – Awake, my soul, Most high glorious God and the Wessex Service – arise from the composer’s association with the Cathedral, whose choir maintains its enviable excellence, with riveting interpretations. One cannot overstate the contribution the Wells community and its inspired director of music have made to the sacred music repertoire.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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