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Sanctum est verum lumen: multi-part choral works

Tallis’s monumental Spem in alium is one of the greatest glories of Western polyphony, and its pre-echoes and aftershocks reverberate through all the other pieces on this disc. The National Youth Choir of Great Britain’s massed voices shed dazzling light on its programme of polychoral works from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, interspersed with virtuoso tributes from three leading contemporary composers including Gabriel Jackson’s own towering 40-part motet Sanctum est verum lumen.

"this is a disc of stunning musicbeautifully performed"

"Sanctum est verum lumen…comes across as an astonishing tour de force, the strands of musical texture cascading through this cast choir with glorious luminosity. These young singers take the work to heart and beyond the almost incredible choral discipline and uniformity of tone that Brewer produces from well over 200 individual voices, there is a real sense of enthusiasm which never intrudes into the technical security of the performance but adds a lovely lustre to Delphian's luxuriant recording...the results are spine-tinglingly spectacular."

"Under Mike Brewer's expert direction, the young voices of the National Youth Choir make properly massive impact."

"Everything about this disc is of the highest quality. The standard of performance is superb, as is the recorded sound. Gabriel Jackson’s notes are exemplary and the music is quite wonderful. This magnificent CD ravishes and stimulates the ear in equal measure. Bravo!"

"Each piece on this CD deserves our full attention and the massed voices of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain bring each composition to life. Dazzling."


"It’s a matter of ‘unfading splendour,’ as the work’s text puts it. The motto stands throughout this disc, the contents of which span six centuries of so-called polychoral composition. There’s nothing austere or tranquil about the singing here: God is being praised, not feared by these glorious performers."

"Brewer fashions from these talented, young singers a radiant wash of sound that is simply stunning."

"This well balanced an inspiring recording bears witness to the maintained high standard of choral singing in Britain, the admirable enthusiasm of the young singers, and the remarkable commitment of Mike Brewer, one of the few great British choral animateurs."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Venues: St Alban the Martyr, London and Merton College Chapel, Oxford
Recording dates: 17 September 2006, 12-13 April and 4-5 August 2007, 8 April 2008
Release date: 27 October 2008
Catalogue No: DCD34045
Total playing time: 1:10:16

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