Our Lady Queen of Peace: Music for the Feast of the Assumption | Regent Records REGCD510

Our Lady Queen of Peace: Music for the Feast of the Assumption


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Label: Regent Records

Cat No: REGCD510

Barcode: 0802561051022

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 16th February 2018



Tewkesbury Abbey is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. 15 August is traditionally associated with the Feast of the Assumption, for which the music presented on this recording is selected.

Feast days in the Abbey’s liturgical calendar are typically celebrated by two major services: a Eucharist and Solemn Evensong, and this recording includes the major musical items for both of these services. Jonathan Dove’s virtuosic setting of the Missa Brevis is the centrepiece of the morning Eucharist, together with a rare recording of Dupré’s Ave Maria for treble voices, and Poulenc’s hymn of praise to the Virgin, Salve Regina.

Evensong gives us all the main musical parts of the service, with introit, responses, psalm, canticles, anthem, and – befittng a celebration on a Feast Day – a setting of Te Deum. It features the first recording of Emmanuel by Philip Moore – which includes an extensive part for a distant semichorus – here sung by the girls of Dean Close School Chamber Choir.

The evening is brought to a triumphant close with organist, Carleton Etherington, giving a glittering performance of Flor Peeters’ major solo organ work Toccata, Fugue et Hymne sur Ave Maris Stella.

Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum is the choir of men and boys which sings the weekday Evensongs in Tewkesbury Abbey. The Abbey School and its choir was the brainchild of the late Miles Amherst; he had first visited the Abbey back in 1952, and was struck by the architecture and atmosphere of the building. It was over twenty years later that he founded the Abbey School and its choir. In the summer of 2006, the school closed, and the choristers made the transition to Dean Close Preparatory School in Cheltenham, where they are now educated.

In addition to its role singing the Opus Dei, the choir also maintains a busy schedule of concerts, tours and broadcasts. In the summer of 2017, the choir undertook a tour to the south-west of France, performing concerts and services in Bordeaux and Moissac. Recent concert appearances have included two performances of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde in the Cheltenham Music Festival.

The choir has an extensive discography. This release is their third recent recording on the Regent label. The choir has also been active in commissioning new works: recent commissions include Christmas carols from Bob Chilcott, Philip Wilby, James Lavino, Nico Muhly, Grayston Ives, Philip Moore, Thomas Hewitt Jones, David Bednall, and Neil Cox. In 2014, the choir celebrated the 40th anniversary of its first service of Choral Evensong in the Abbey, and premiered a setting of Psalm 150, Laudate Dominum, by Matthew Martin.

‘The choir is given appropriate presence to show their ensemble and vitality, and the idiomatic and inspiring organ accompaniments are recorded clearly whilst still allowing the total ensemble to be heard. Overall, the Abbey's superb acoustics can be experienced as an integral and supportive aspect of the whole.’ – Editor’s Choice, Organists' Review June 2016 (REGCD474)

‘Tewkesbury Abbey is more than fortunate to have such an excellent choir as this – as it in turn is to have such an excellent musician as Bell as its director. A fine recording of uncommon musical interest.’ – International Record Review (REGCD440)

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