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February 25th, 2009 - New recording from Herald AV
New recording from Herald AV



Herald AV Recordings will release the "Catholic Collection II" on the 25th February 2009. The CD's launch weekend will follow on the 7th and 8th of March at Leeds Cathedral, where the disc will be available at £10 for these two days only. It will usually retail at £11.50. 

The three Cathedral Choirs sing polyphony from Portugal, Italy and Germany interlaced with Gregorian chant. Also included is the first recording of Colin Mawby's Magnificat Primi Toni, a new Latin setting, written to mark the restoration of Leeds Cathedral in 2005. Profits from the sale of this disk will go to the charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Gregorian chant, singled out in Vatican II as a form of music "specially suited to the
Roman liturgy", is represented here by two Marian antiphons (the Lenten Ave regina
caelorum and Salve regina, sung in ordinary time) and two hymns (St Thomas Aquinas's
Tantum ergo and Te lucis ante terminum, the authorship of which is uncertain). The
other two Marian antiphons, Alma redemptoris mater (Advent to Candlemas) and Regina
caeli (Easter) are sung to settings by Pedro de Cristo. His work remained unpublished
in his own lifetime and he remains, regrettably, the least well known composer of the
Portuguese "Golden Age". His five-part Palm Sunday introit Osanna, filio David and
Palestrina's Sicut cervus are included as further representatives of the Renaissance
polyphony at the heart of the choirs' repertoire.

The remaining tracks offer a glimpse of the range of musical styles heard at Leeds.
Charpentier's intimate setting of another Aquinas text, Panis angelicus, and the two
motets by Perosi contrast sharply with Haydn's bombastic Insane et vanae curae and the
resplendent majesty of Andriessen's Tantum ergo, while Rheinberger's Qui sedes Domine
serves as a reminder that, even in Germany, cradle of the Reformation, the Catholic
musical tradition remained healthy. The Magnificat by Colin Mawby, another former
Master of the Music at Westminster Cathedral, was commissioned for the reopening of
Leeds Cathedral following its restoration in 2006 and is, of all the pieces presented here,
the one that the choirs can most truly call their own.

"Their singing of polyphony...is sensitive and devotional...rise to the challenge with a terrifically focussed and contrasted reading. These are performances full of spirit and commitment.
The recording has excellent clarity and breadth, placing voices and organ in true perspective,
and it is a fine tribute to the consistent choral work undertaken by the diocese of Leeds in recent decades - a shining example to other cities." Organists Review (August 2009)



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