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This is a well-conceived CD. The pairing of Leighton’s and Martin’s double choir Masses reveals many underlying similarities between them, despite their being written 30 years apart – though since Martin consigned his Mass to a bottom drawer, the two works were premiered within three years of each other in the 1960s. The Mass by Edinburgh-based Leighton is notable for its use of a variety of choral sonorities, especially pitting solo voices from within the choir against the main choral body. Martin’s Mass is perhaps the more familiar to readers. The choral forces of King’s College, London, are well focused, clean and expressive. Occasionally one or two of the solo voices show their youth, but the whole is delivered with such conviction, even passion, that this matters not. By way of a concluding voluntary, James Orford plays Alain’s Postlude pour l’office de compline.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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