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.
In purist terms accompanied by organ harmonisation is an anachronism...Does it work? Well, yes, because the choir is on excellent form and the recorded sound seems perfectly to capture a sense of place, of atmosphere. That's indefinable and therefore worth hearing. Furthermore, everything is of a piece: the performance of Renaissance piece might almost be described as lush...And yet the recital's unity of purpose is most convincing, even impressive. Gramophone
This is beautifully devised programme, sung with ineffable perceptiveness by the Westminster choristers and recorded with utterly natural atmosphere by the Hyperion team: 79 minutes' worth of timeless reflection, which, far from giving up, anyone should possibly crave for Lent. Int. Record Review
This is a disc for those who love the acoustic, the atmosphere and the musical traditions of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in London...This is a large choir, very good at big effects. The pacing and cohesion in the Agnus Dei of Palestrina's Missa Emendemus in Melius is accomplished and moving. BBC ***