“Lennox Berkeley's church music has now entered the cathedral lists – both Anglican and Roman – to an extent unthinkable even 10 years ago. He was a pious Catholic, and much of his music is rooted in his deep spiritual convictions His personal kind of melody and harmony sounds like nobody else. This is particularly evident in the most familiar of his religious works here – the 1960 Missa Brevis for Westminster Cathedral, which Britten much admired, and The Lord is my shepherd for Chichester. Just as typical are Look up sweet babe and the ecstatic George Herbert setting which forms the central section of the expansive Festival Anthem. Once heard, these tunes are difficult to forget. The Mass for five voices and Three Latin Motets, written for this choir in 1972, are more austere but, like the eloquent sacred works of his friend Poulenc, they clearly come from the same imagination as the composer's other works. And quite late in life Berkeley boldly brings the discoveries of his more advanced later music into the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. This is an impressive collection which merits repeated hearings. The choir sounds well and boasts fine soloists.”
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