Mater ora filium: Music for Epiphany

Harmonia Mundi: HMU907653

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Mater ora filium: Music for Epiphany

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Release date:

2nd Dec 2016




72 minutes


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Mater ora filium: Music for Epiphany


Mater Ora Filium

Berkeley, L:

I sing of a maiden

Bingham, J:



Ecce Advenit


Magi veniunt ab oriente


The Three Kings


Long, Long Ago

Here is the Little Door


Omnes de Saba

Mouton, J:

Nesciens Mater


I wonder as I wander


Tribus miraculis ornatum


Videntes stellam (No. 3 from Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël, Op.152)

Sheppard, J:

Reges Tharsis et insulae


O worship the lord

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed!

arr. Graham Ross:. World première recording.

As with gladness men of old

arr. Graham Ross:. World première recording


Bethlehem Down

Benedicamus Domino


Illuminare, Jerusalem

Alexander Porteous (tenor), Laurence Harris (baritone) & Michael Papadopoulos (organ)

Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Graham Ross


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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

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

Nesciens Mater

Francis Poulenc: Videntes stellam

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

Bethlehem Down

Judith Weir: Illuminare, Jerusalem

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

Benedicamus domino

Traditional: As with gladness men of old

As with gladness men of old

Arnold Bax: Mater ora filium

Mater ora filium

MusicWeb International

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.”

Record Review

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.”

Financial Times

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.”

Choir & Organ

January 2017


“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.”

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