Music for the Queen of Heaven: contemporary Marian motets

The Marian Consort originally made its name with the music of the Renaissance. But the group has also worked regularly with living composers for a number of years. This programme of contemporary Marian anthems – many of them commissioned by the ensemble – celebrates a living, developing tradition where the new is always informed by the old, casting fresh, vital light on these ancient words.

Under its founder and director, Rory McCleery, the Marian Consort has given concerts throughout the UK and Europe, features regularly on BBC Radio 3, and is a former ‘Young Artist’ of The Brighton Early Music Festival.

This is the their eighth recording for Delphian.

""The Marian Consort’s performances deliver full value in terms of expressive range and sophistication. Pitch-perfect tuning and immaculately clean ensemble grace the poised accounts of James MacMillan’s Ave maris stella which ends the CD. Paul Baxter’s sensitively engineered recording, and an intriguing choice of cover art…add further to the attractions of this eminently listenable recital."

"Anna Dennis’s soaring solo [in the Gabriel Jackson] is deliciously outstanding. Howells’s spirit also hovers benevolently over Hilary Campbell’s scrunchy Ave Maria of 2012. By way of contrast, mock medievalisms are a distinctive features of Cecilia McDowall’s votive antiphon Alma redemptoris mater"


"Cheryl Frances-Hoad contributes a viscerally exciting “Gaude et laetare”, and Judith Weir’s “Ave Regina caelorum” is full of rhythmic punch. An “Ave maris stella”, by James MacMillan is stunning, the abrupt rise in dynamics and range just before the finish a glorious vocal coup-de-theatre. Brilliant sleeve art too."

"These a cappella performances are spot on in terms of intonation and crafted realisation of the texts in musical form. Nothing fanciful, just plain good taste."

"This is an outstanding, memorable disc, not only in terms of the repertoire but also–and crucially–in the manner of performance. When you’re singing in a group as small as this there really is no hiding pace but the singing of The Marian Consort is flawless throughout."

Producer: Paul Baxter

Recording venue(s): St Michael's Church, Highgate

Recording dates: 10-12 January 2017

Physical format: Jewel case

Number of discs: 1

Release date: October 20, 2017

Album ID: DCD34190

Total playing time: 0:59:31

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