Agnus Dei / The Sixteen

Album cover art for upc 828021618628
Label: CORO
Catalog: COR16186
Format: CD

Christophers, Harry; Budd, Jeremy; The Sixteen Choir; Davies, Ben; Dean, Ruth; Dougan, Eamonn; Porter, Kim; Cooper, Julie

There are certain texts which inspire composers more than others but there is one in particular that has provided us with sublime music ever since it appeared centuries ago—the Agnus Dei. This collection from The Sixteen celebrates some of the finest settings from the Renaissance through to the 20th century. Let time stand still whilst listening to the arching melismas and subtle imitation of settings by Tye and Sheppard; delight in the genius of Bach’s setting in the Mass in B minor; and revel in Poulenc’s soaring soprano solo at the opening to his Agnus Dei—so poignant, ethereal and effortlessly beautiful. Of course no collection of this type would be complete without Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei—probably one of the most famous settings ever written, certainly in recent times, and which rarely leaves a dry eye. From Tallis to Scarlatti and Rubbra to Britten, the variety of settings and musical language featured here is quite astounding and you may even discover an Agnus Dei that you haven’t heard before!

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