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Abbey Choir releases new Tudor and Christmas CDs

Friday, 3rd October 2008

Abbey Choir releases new Tudor and Christmas CDs

Two new CDs of music from the Abbey Choir are released this week by Hyperion Records.

Mary and Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey: Sisters in hope of the Resurrection explores the immense variety of sacred music composed and performed during the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I.

Some of England’s greatest musical figures – Byrd, Tallis, Sheppard, Mundy - were active during this time of religious and social turbulence, composing music for both the Roman rite (during its restoration under Mary) and the reformed Church of England under her successor. Many of these figures were closely associated with Westminster Abbey. This disc, recorded to mark the 450th anniversary of Mary’s death and Elizabeth’s accession in 1558, features several masterpieces of sacred music from the period.

Much of the music from the disc will be performed at a concert in the Abbey on 20th November which forms part of Mary and Elizabeth: ‘Sisters in hope of the Resurrection’ — a Festival of Commemoration marking the anniversary.

A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey presents a delightful and unusual selection of music for Christmas. Twentieth-century works by Leighton, Mathias, Poulenc and Walton are set alongside a selection of contemporary carols from Bob Chilcott, Jonathan Dove and John Rutter, amongst others. Traditional carols in attractive arrangements complete the programme.

These releases continue the Abbey Choir’s acclaimed series of recordings on Hyperion Records, all directed by Organist & Master of the Choristers James O’Donnell.

American Record Guide described the choir’s May 2008 release, The Feast of the Ascension at Westminster Abbey, as ‘a triumphant recording,’ and The Daily Telegraph praised their ‘exhilarating performances.’

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

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Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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