Monday, 19 March 2007

MacMillan mass at Westminster

To Westminster Cathedral on Sunday for 10.30am mass. The setting was James MacMillan's Mass. The choir sang the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei, but in addition the celebrant included MacMillan's setting of the Ante-Preface, Preface, Prayer of Consecration etc. I have heard these on Westminster Cathedral choir's recording of the entire mass but had never anticipated hearing the sequence live, after all it requires a celebrant who is confident enough to learn MacMillan's new setting for the words. The result was profoundly moving, especially heard in the Cathedral's astounding acoustic.

The choral contributions were highly evocative.. What they lacked in clarity, due to the acoustic, they made up in atmosphere and the choir were in superb form.

The offertory motet was Mozart's Laudate Dominum, with the solo soprano line taken beautifully by a group of trebles.

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