Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker (conductor)
Westminster Cathedral. Easter Lamentations. Palestrina. You can almost smell the incense before unwrapping this enticing new recording from the established masters of the genre.
Palestrina composed four sets of Lamentations, the third of which is recorded here. This most opulent of liturgies runs as a continuous narrative describing momentous Biblical events from the Last Supper through to Christ’s crucifixion and death. Throughout the centuries composers of sacred music have aspired to do justice to this most dramatic of scenarios and Palestrina’s settings rank amongst the finest. He employs a rich harmonic palette, constantly varying the vocal texture and using up to seven voice-parts simultaneously.
The Choir of Westminster Cathedral has an unparalleled reputation. Since its inception under Cardinal Vaughan and Richard Runciman Terry the choir’s uniquely ‘continental’ sound and its position as the world’s only Catholic cathedral choir to sing the full daily liturgy have met with consistent and repeated acclaim.