Westminster Cathedral Choir is today acknowledged to be one of the finest choirs of its type in the world. The establishment of a fine choral foundation was part of the original vision of the founder of Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, the then Archbishop of Westminster. Vaughan laid great emphasis on the beauty and quality of the new Cathedral’s liturgy and music. A vital element in realising this vision was the inauguration of a residential choir school for the boy choristers. Daily sung Masses and Offices were immediately established when the Cathedral opened in 1903, and have continued without interruption ever since.
Under the brilliant first Master of the Music, Richard Runciman Terry, the choir was soon regarded as the finest in the land. Terry and the choir took the church music world by storm, reviving countless works which had not been heard for centuries and vigorously adding newly commissioned works to the repertoire. Among many composers who wrote works specially for the choir were Vaughan Williams (whose Mass in G minor was first performed publicly at a Mass in the Cathedral), Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, Herbert Howells, Charles Wood, and Lennox Berkeley.
Martin Baker's website Information about music events for Westminster Cathedral and the Westminster Diocese
Westminster Cathedral Choir returns to acclaimed Scottish composer James MacMillan, whose powerful, passionate and luminous music has made him one of the best-loved choral composers of today.
Included on this recording is a dramatic setting of the Tenebrae Responsories, a spiritually engaging and emotionally involving work which relates back in its searing intensity and some of its choral effects to Seven Last Words from the Cross (1993) (recorded on Hyperion CDA67460), one of MacMillan’s seminal earlier works.
The choir is joined by London Brass for jubilant settings of Tu es Petrus, Summae Trinitati and Ecce sacerdos magnus.
Total duration: 72' 52"
Recorded July 2012.
Scheduled for release on June 3, 2013.
Westminster Cathedral Choir This release from the admired Westminster Cathedral Choir demonstrates the splendours of the liturgy in the at-once solemn and joyful period of Lent. Masterworks from the Renaissance—familiar from Westminster Cathedral Choir’s previous award-winning recordings—alternate with works by former organists of the Cathedral (all themselves masters of liturgical composition) and are linked by the plainchant which is at the spiritual heart of the music. Hearing the music like this in context—and recorded in the unique acoustic of the Cathedral—perfectly replicates the live experience for the listener. [Hyperion]
Westminster Cathedral Choir Plainchant and Renaissance polyphony are the bedrock of Westminster Cathedral’s sung liturgy—early music is the root from which the cathedral’s musical endeavours have branched for over a century. Also, from Westminster Cathedral’s earliest years, alongside the fascination with early vocal repertory, composers have been commissioned to contribute to the canon; when they have done so the choir’s antique musical diet has frequently been at the forefront of those composers’ imagination.
Westminster Cathedral Choir This disc presents an adorned version of the Office of Vespers as it might be heard on the eve of Christmas in Westminster Cathedral, a building steeped in art, music and spirituality.
The chant on this disc is the golden thread which runs throughout the entire liturgy giving the Office a natural rhythm and inevitability as well as clarity of text and beautiful language; it is complemented here by motets and canticles by Thomas Tallis, Tomás Luis de Victoria and Heinrich Schütz, while Jean Langlais’s massive Fête for organ concludes the service.
The only cathedral choir in the world to sing Mass and Vespers liturgically every day, The Choir of Westminster Cathedral is perfectly placed to offer to the armchair listener this CD encapsulation of their very lifeblood, recorded here in the opulent acoustic of their own cathedral.
Westminster Cathedral Choir COMPOSER: Ralph Vaughan Williams (other composers in brackets after works)
TRACKS: Mass in G minor. Te Deum in G. O vos omnes. Valiant for Truth. A Vision of Aeroplanes. c/w Mass (Judith Bingham).
CHOIR: Westminster Cathedral Choir
CONDUCTOR: Martin Baker
RELEASE DATE: 02 May 2005
Westminster Cathedral ChoirMark KennedyEamon O'Dwyer The choral singing on this disc is quite outstanding, but the solo soprano in the Mass is not as sweet toned or technically accomplished as Jonathon Bond (with the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge under George Guest) in the other recommended recording. All the music is from Francis Poulenc.
Robin Schmidt Westminster Cathedral Choir Here's a Symphony of Psalms that successfully captures the spirit and letter of the work--reverence, jubilation, and celebration, as well as specifics of orchestral color and texture. Boys' voices--supposedly Stravinsky's original choice--contribute their share to the bright choral timbre, an effect that works very well. We also get first-rate performances of the Mass and the rarely recorded Canticum sacrum. --David Vernier
Westminster Cathedral ChoirJohn HahessyMichael RonayneKenneth Willes Later releases:
Decca 425 078-2, CD; Argo Eclipse ECS 747, LP 1975; Double Decca 433 914-2, CD 1992
Second Soprano soloist in Victoria's Responsories for Tenebrae recorded in Westminster Cathedral in April 1959 with the Cathedral Choir under the inspired conducting of George Malcolm.
Hahessy is not credited on the CD liner or notes, but was identified in the LP issue on Argo Eclipse ECS 747 (1975), with Michael Ronayne as First Soprano soloist.
John HahessyMichael Ronayne Westminster Cathedral ChoirKenneth Willes Director: George Malcolm
At Christmas in 1958, Benjamin Britten went to hear the boys of the Westminster Cathedral Choir sing his Ceremony of Carols conducted by George Malcolm. He was so impressed by their voices, he wanted to write something for them. The result is the Missa Brevis, recorded here for the first time.
Aled Jones Westminster Cathedral Choir 60 min, Baritone Benjamin Luxon, Boy Soprano Aled Jones, actor Emlyn Williams and the Westminster Cathedral Choir perform "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," "Adeste Fidelis," and "Good King Wenceslas," in this celebration of the holiday season filmed at Westminster Cathedral.
Westminster Cathedral Choir Published four times a year. Edited by James Wilkinson. The Summer 2007 edition is 64 pages and richly illustrated. The cost is £3 per issue and it may be obtained from: James Wilkinson, 31 Elm Bank Gardens, Barnes, London, SW13 ONU
Bristol Cathedral Choir Westminster Cathedral Choir by Gregory C. Atkin.
The View of a Former Cathedral Chorister of Choral Life in the Twentieth Century. Atkin throws a considerable amount of light on what was encountered by cathedral choristers and lay clerks at Bristol Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral in the middle of the twentieth century. The book is written from personal observations and experience in these establishments at that time.
Westminster Cathedral Choir by Sir Frederick Bridge, 1919. xiii, 363 pages 8vo. John Frederick Bridge (1844-1924) served as organist at Westminster Abbey for the 43 years 1875-1918; he was knighted in 1897.