BySid Nuncius#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 2 September 2017
I love this disc. Purely as a matter of personal taste, I haven't always got on well with Westminster's recordings, generally preferring the smaller ensembles to this choir's larger, more churchy sound. However, this is simply stunning.
The music here is truly wonderful. Media Vita, in particular, is one of the true gems of English Tudor polyphony, and Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria and the Missa Cantate are both also very fine works. Westminster Cathedral's choir has been a world-class ensemble for many years, of course, and for me this music suits them magnificently. There is something about the English structure and cadences here which they catch perfectly, so the whole thing just glows with beauty. They manage to preserve the clarity of individual lines while blending into a truly lovely whole, and there is s real sense of spirituality and engagement with the text they are singing. It's an exemplary performance, I think.
I already own and love the superb recordings of Media Vita by The Tallis Scholars and Stile Antico. This is just as good. The presentation and recorded sound are up to Hyperion's usual excellent standard and it's a fabulous disc all round. Very warmly recommended.
I can only but agree with the other reviewers. I too have other recordings of Media Vita but this is just simply sublime. Really no less than I would have expected from this choir whose recordings I would buy in the expectation of excellence. It is perfect music of the right era for an ensemble of this make up and experience.
I have other versions of Media vita , but this recording is truly remarkable. From the moment it starts you know this is a special recording. There is an air of beautiful inevitability which marks this version as a benchmark for decades to come. English choral art at its grandest.
The is an absolutely tremendous recording. It transports one towards heaven. Westminster Cathedral Choir is one of the best choirs in the world. They need to be publicised more and make more recordings like this.