MusicWeb International Review of Mary Star of the Sea

MusicWeb International Review of Mary Star of the Sea

14 October 2016
MusicWeb International
Brian Wilson

Medieval and contemporary works are combined in a programme of music in honour of the Virgin Mary: Mary Star of the Sea. Gothic Voices, too infrequent visitors to the recording studios since making their wonderful albums for Hyperion. The singers are Catherine King (mezzo), Steven Harrold, Julian Podger (tenor) and Stephen Charlesworth (baritone) and the programme was recorded in June 2015 at Boxgrove Priory, Chichester, West Sussex.

I hadn’t come across Joanne Metcalf before but her music, setting Dante’s vision of Mary in Paradiso XXIII and dating from 1998, blends perfectly with the medieval works, themselves settings of Latin and Middle English poetry in honour of Mary, the beautiful flower, the star of the sea, the Mother of Christ and the witness of His crucifixion. Performances, recording and booklet are all as excellent as when the Voices recorded for Hyperion.

A fascinating release; I’m pleased to see that a further Gothic Voices album of music by Dufay is in the offing.

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