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Graham Ross directs the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge in music celebrating the feast of Epiphany, culminating in Arnold Bax’s unaccompanied double-choir masterpiece, 'Mater ora filium' (1926). The feast of Epiphany falls on 6 January, 12 days after Christmas. Marked in the Christian world with the story of the Magi, many composers have been inspired by the account of ‘the three kings’ following the star, bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This sequence of music explores some of the greatest musical contributions to the feast, principally from the 16th and 20th centuries. Three great Epiphany hymns frame this sequence, all in new arrangements by Graham Ross, and all here receiving their première recordings. Graham Ross has also written the excellent booklet note and is aided and abetted, again, by John Rutter as producer, engineer and editor.
Orlande de Lassus: Omnes de Saba
Omnes de Saba
Traditional: O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
John Sheppard: Reges Tharsis
William Byrd: Ecce advenit dominator Dominus
Ecce advenit dominator Dominus
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Tribus miraculis ornatum
Tribus miraculis ornatum
Jacobus Clemens non Papa: Magi veniunt ab oriente
Magi veniunt ab oriente
Jean Mouton: Nesciens Mater
Francis Poulenc: Videntes stellam
Howard Howells: Long, long ago
Long, long ago
Judith Bingham: Epiphany
Traditional: Hail to the Lord’s Anointed!
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed!
Peter Warlock: Bethlehem Down
Judith Weir: Illuminare, Jerusalem
John Jacob Niles: I wonder as I wander
I wonder as I wander
Howard Howells: Here is the little door
Here is the little door
Peter Cornelius: The Three Kings
The Three Kings
Lennox Berkeley: I sing of a maiden
I sing of a maiden
Peter Warlock: Benedicamus domino
Traditional: As with gladness men of old
As with gladness men of old
Arnold Bax: Mater ora filium
Mater ora filium
7th December 2016
“While the richness of Bax’s quasi-orchestral writing is relished to the full the performance always moves forward with a sense of purpose. The choir sings with complete assurance and the sopranos are especially valiant – the top C at the climax on ‘Lord of right’ is hit truly and sustained thrillingly. This is a superb performance…with rewarding and varied music, marvellously performed, this disc is a sure-fire winner.”
24th December 2016
“An effective post-Christmas sequence of music for Epiphany … One of my favourite offerings from amateur church and collegiate choirs this season.”
29th December 2016
“This wide-ranging selection from Graham Ross and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, is their most imaginative so far. There is homely Cornelius, baleful Judith Weir, and to end some hair-raising singing from soaring sopranos and resonant young basses in Bax’s ecstatic Mater ora filium for double choir.”
“every bit as successful as its predecessors … Judith Weir’s Illuminare, Jerusalem…is given a superb rendering, as is Bax’s Mater ora filium … An exceptionally satisfying CD.”