Westminster Cathedral continue their survey of the music of Tomás Luis de Victoria – begun in triumphant style with a Gramophone Award-winning disc of the Missa O quam gloriosum – with this new recording of the Missa Ave Regina caelorum, an opulent double-choir setting based on Victoria’s two eponymous motets. Also included are a four-voice Magnificat, two Ave Maria settings (for four and eight voices), the double-choir Ave Regina caelorum, and five Vesper Psalms, all composed for double-choir as if to underline their significance in the liturgy. The performances do full justice to the ambition of Victoria’s intentions, as Martin Baker firmly cements his position as worthy successor to the glories achieved by this choir under James O’Donnell and, before him, David Hill. This new recording is available in multichannel hybrid SACD and conventional CD formats.
CLASSICAL CDs OF THE YEAR 2004 (The Daily Telegraph)
'The choir of Westminster Cathedral has long been noted for its distinctive Continental-style tone, which gives its performances of Latin sacred polyphony an attractively distinctive quality. This magnificent recording, which shows off Victoria's mastery of the art of writing music for up to three choirs in the grandest possible manner, suggests that 2004 is a vintage year for them … recordings of Renaissance polyphony rarely come much better than this' (Daily Telegraph)
'It is ideally suited to the full-throated, vibrant singing of the Westminster Cathedral Choir, while Martin Baker's finely controlled direction displays a keen architectural sense … A wonderful disc' (Goldberg Early Music Magazine)
'the choir is radiant in its home acoustic, and Martin Baker's well-researched decision to employ an understated organ 'continuo' adds small but telling touches of colour to the texture' (International Record Review)
Recording details: February 2004; Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom; Produced by Mark Brown; Engineered by Julian Millard; Release date: October 2004;