Mundy: Sacred Choral Music

Already celebrated in surveys of John Taverner and John Sheppard, the Choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh now showcase the often overlooked music of William Mundy, which was at the heart of the Marian Catholic revival and then, just a few years later, made a vital contribution to the development of the Elizabethan motet.

Their programme centres on Mundy’s two most extended festal compositions, possibly sung to Queen Mary on the eve of her coronation in 1553 – the celebrated Vox patris caelestis and, newly reconstructed, the little known Maria virgo sanctissima. Two further premiere recordings feature alongside the remarkable collaboration of Mundy, Sheppard and a young William Byrd on music for the Easter procession, In exitu Israel. Combining powerful music on a ceremonial scale with shorter liturgical works, this recording conveys the choir’s sheer joy in their now firmly established role as ambassadors of sixteenth-century polyphony.

"Ferguson secures a rich, purposeful tone and response in tutti sections, particularly from the mixed-voice trebles…unanimity of diction are again crucial in the plainchant segments of In exitu Israel…All-Mundy recitals are a considerable rarity, and this one can be confidently recommended"

 "The Choir of St Mary’s, Edinburgh, has a fine track record in this repertory, and the novelty value of this recital warrants a strong recommendation. The shorter selections are especially well handled, for they don’t tax the singers unduly…I also like Duncan Ferguson’s forthright (dare I say it, un-churchy) approach to the lengthy passages of plainchant."

"Duncan Ferguson moulds fervent interpretations from both choir and solo ensembles, with lovely long lines, commitment, and a spiritual freshness."

"The recording is very good, and the project is crowned by an informative set of notes – helpful for scholarly readers and approachable for the rest of us. Another very fine offering from Delphian and the Edinburgh Cathedral team."

"Performances are of a uniformly high level...Credit to all concerned: for choosing such a rewarding composer as Mundy, whose style effortlessly migrates from the floridity of the Eton Choirbook to the conciseness of the Elizabethan motet without losing his personal touch; for selecting a varied and interesting repertory; and for performing it in an accessible and engaging way."


"This new disc from Duncan Ferguson and the choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, is thus a fascinating addition to Mundy's discography and thankfully there is plenty to enjoy in these dynamic and vibrant performances."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Release date: 22 June 2018
Album ID: DCD34204
Total playing time: 1:05:00

Featured interview


Duncan Ferguson on Mundy

Director Duncan Ferguson talks to Presto Classical's David Smith about the latest in a string of critically acclaimed releases.

More by the Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh on Delphian...