Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker (conductor)
The major work on this recording is the Mass. This was commissioned by Westminster Cathedral and was first performed on the Feast of Corpus Christi in 2000. MacMillan has chosen vernacular text rather than the Latin Mass and builds on the tradition of modern vernacular choral settings espoused by Britten with his Missa Brevis, also written for Westminster Cathedral.
Gaudeamus in loci pace is the first substantial organ work in MacMillan's output and appears to also have a connection with the Cathedral in that it was written for the Scottish organist Joseph Cullen, a former Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral. Many of the pieces on this recording have been commissioned by well-known choirs such as St Paul's Cathedral and King's College, Cambridge. The singing throughout is of the great standard we have come to expect from this choir. The use of soaring treble lines (such as in Christus vincit) is particularly special. This is the first recording of Westminster under their new Master of Music, Martin Baker.
All of the works are premiere recordings and the disc is sure to be popular with followers of James MacMillan's music and The Choir of Westminster Cathedral alike.