Vocal Ensemble

Directed by Philip Cave, an acclaimed choir formed primarily of former Oxford and Cambridge choral scholars.


Magnificat was formed in 1991 by its conductor, Philip Cave, to explore the rich diversity of choral music from the last five centuries. The ensemble specialises in the restoration and performance of neglected choral masterpieces of the 16th and 17th centuries. Magnificat ranges in size from four to forty voices and performs a wide range of music, both a cappella and with ensembles of period instruments.

In association with Linn Records, Magnificat has undertaken many recording projects of music from 'The Golden Age'. The first of these comprises motets by Gesualdo, Guerrero, Josquin, Rebelo and Victoria together with Allegri's Miserere and Palestrina's Stabat mater. A highly acclaimed recording of Victoria's Officium Defunctorum of 1605, named a 1997 Critics' Choice by Gramophone Magazine and chosen by The Rough Guide as one of its ‘100 Essential Classical CDs', was followed by a disc of music by the neglected Spanish master, Philippe Rogier, including the Missa Ego sum qui sum.

Magnificat's recording of Thomas Tallis' forty-part motet Spem in alium was hailed as 'quite the best recording' by Gramophone Magazine. The disc was recently selected as the BBC Radio 3 recommended performance of Tallis' Lamentations of Jeremiah, and it includes the four-part Mass and a selection of Latin motets. The ensemble has also recorded a CD of Palestrina's twenty-nine motets from the Song of Songs.