Magnificat - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang - Albion Magazine

Magnificat, directed by Philip Cave, here present a programme of Latin music by three British composers, William Byrd, Robert Parsons and Robert White, recorded in the resonant acoustic of St George's, Chesterton, Cambridge. Byrd's well-known 'Christe qui Lux es et Dies' opens the disc. This is followed by White's 'Lamentations', the most substantial work on the disc. Parson's 'Ave Maria' will surely also be familiar to many listeners; this is followed, however, by a less well-known work by Byrd, 'Domine, Quis Habitabit'. A strikingly different setting of the same words by Parsons follows, before Byrd's 'Quomodo Cantabimus' and 'De Lamentatione', and the disc concludes with White's setting of 'Christe qui Lux es et Dies'. It is an interesting idea to juxtapose and contrast settings of the same texts by different composers, and it works well. There are comprehensive and excellent work notes and texts included in a high-quality booklet and these, along with the admirable performances, certainly make this a disc to look out for.

06 January 2014