'One of the greatest a cappella works written this century'; so writes Gramophone's Marc Rochester in the sleeve note to this recording, and this is no exaggeration. Written in 1922, with a devastatingly effective Agnus Dei being added in 1926, Frank Martin's Mass for double choir is a truly wonderful work, combining intensely personal moments of religious contemplation with outbursts of overwhelming glory.
Pizzetti's Messa di Requiem, also composed in 1922, is a work firmly steeped in the Gregorian tradition, Pizzetti weaving an intriguing twentieth-century web over the familiar tunes.
Also included on this recording are Martin's Passacaille, the composer's only work for solo organ, and Pizzetti's De profundis, dedicated by way of apology to a colleague on whom Pizzetti had previously vented his infamous foul temper.
'For connoisseurs of choral music this is an essential buy. Outstanding performances of two rarely heard 20th-century masterpieces' (Classic CD)
'Gloriously sung. This certainly deserves to become a classic recording' (BBC Record Review)
'A recording of arresting immediacy and musical richness' (BBC Music Magazine)
A. Beaujean in Scala Nr. 3 / 98: "Was der mit Knaben-
Oberstimmen singende Kathedralchor unter James O'Donnell
an ätherischer Klangschönheit, an chorischer Ausgewogen-
heit, an strahlendem Glanz wie an dynamischer Differen-
zierung bietet, das zeugt einmal mehr von dem hohen
Niveau der englischen Kathedralchöre, von dem wir bei
uns nur träumen können. Diese 71: 26 Minuten sind
schlicht ein Muß für Chormusik-Fans."