Westminster Cathedral Choir made its first recordings over a century ago, and in the last four decades the Choir has recorded over fifty albums. Many of these have received significant critical acclaim: amongst other accolades, Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir was named Gramophone’s Disc of the Year; Palestrina’s Lamentations was included amongst Goldberg’s Fifty Discs of the Decade; Victoria’s Missa Ave Regina Caelorum was one of the Telegraph’s Classical CDs of the Year; MacMillan’s Mass was Editor’s Choice in Gramphone Magazine, and was also named amongst the Best CDs of the Year by BBC Music Magazine.
VEXILLA REGIS: A sequence of music from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday
Released February 2020
(The choir’s) … ‘journey through Holy Week demonstrates, as you would expect, their unique skill in singing Gregorian chant, which comes from the discipline of daily performance and familiarity with the liturgy, combined with an aspiration towards musical perfection and beauty that is unerringly achieved. The same exquisite balance between musical and spiritual intention can be heard throughout the disc, but particularly in two motets by Byrd – Ne irascaris, Domine and Civitas sancti tui – where every phrase is mellifluously shaped, the choral lines are handed seamlessly from one voice part to another…’ Choir & Organ
Westminster Cathedral Choir’s first release on the Ad Fontes label, this disc was recorded in Buckfast Abbey in March/April 2019. www.adfontes.org.uk
John Sheppard: Media Vita
Released August 2017 and reached No 2 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart
‘It’s quite possible that 2017 marks Sheppard’s 500th anniversary year. It’s hard to think of a better birthday present than this outstanding recording of three of his finest works’ Gramophone
‘This treble sound is, well, nothing less than ‘ethereal’; I can’t come up with a more appropriate word. Nor can I for the rest of the music on this unforgettable program. The Mass, which the notes aptly describe as a ‘masterpiece’ whose plainchant model is unknown, deserves all the attention it can get—as does this recording, a masterpiece itself, the finest I’ve heard from this choir.’
Released June 2016. Reached No5 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart
Focuses on the music of Guerrero and Lobo, including Lobo’s Lamentations and the Missa Maria Magdalene, based on Guerrero’s motet.
‘Nothing … will prepare listeners for the beauty of Lobo’s Lamentations. Alonso Lobo’s Lamentations represent Iberian polyphony at its most tender and scented. I got to know the piece via John Eliot Gardiner’s tight recording from almost a decade ago, this newcomer has all the expense of Westminster Cathedral itself, unfolding as if in vaulted paragraphs. Awesome!’ Gramophone
‘Westminster Cathedral Choir is at its best in large-scale drama of the Credo of the mass … a convincing introduction to a neglected composer’ BBC Music Magazine
William Byrd: The Three Masses
Released September 2014 and reached No 4 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart
Features Byrd’s Masses for three, four and five voices, and the motet Ave verum corpus.
‘Byrd’s double life, in public a member of Queen Elizabeth I’s Chapel Royal in a newly Protestant England, in private a covert Catholic, directly shaped his music. Grand works such as the Great Service are among the glories of the English choral tradition. In contrast, the three Latin masses set here, long neglected, were for amateur, chamber performance in hidden Catholic communities. Westminster Cathedral Choir may sing them with more splendour and finesse than Byrd himself would have expected, yet the results are uplifting and moving’. The Observer
James MacMillan: Tenebrae Responseries
Released June 2013 and reached No 2 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart
Featuring music for brass, percussion, choir & organ commissioned for the visit of Pope Benedict to the UK.
‘The combination of Westminster Cathedral Choir and MacMillan is irresistible. We are drawn immediately into their complicity by the jaw-dropping Tu es Petrus …its simultaneous celebratory character and clear rootedness in liturgical tradition make it far more than a one-off firework. Quite different are the extraordinary Tenebrae Responsories … the sound of the Westminster choristers adds something unique and the building’s resonance buoys up MacMillan’s arching lines and dazzling often bitingly dissonant choral pillars … the performances throughout are outstanding.’ Gramophone