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On Alpha & Omega, Cappella Nova present works of an intimate nature, the spirituality revealing and personal. The singers bring pleading and longing to the diverse Dunelmi Mass, the ethereal and atmospheric pure lines building to ecstatic outbursts. The four Marian works – St Patrick’s Magnificat, …fiat mihi…, Cum vidisset Jesus and I am your Mother – show intricate layers of polyphonic lines. Domine, non secundum peccata nostra (scored with violin) adds an element which contrasts with the long phrases that caress the words. But it is the performance of Alpha & Omega where the programme reaches its dramatic climax with such intensity that one is left feeling wrung out. Cappella Nova and director Alan Tavener have a profound perception of the composer’s music and perform this very testing writing with enviable ease. I hope the Roman Catholic Church realises what a matchless composer it has in its midst, who is bringing back to this century the glories of musical composition in past centuries in his own inimitable way.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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