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Missa Campanella
Choir of the Cathedral of St. John, Episcopal, Albuquerque, Maxine Thévenot, director; Stephen Tharp, guest organist - [OAR-926]
$15.98

Reviews James Hildreth in The American Organist, November 2015:
The music is beautifully sung by the Cathedral's three choirs . . .  Full review below


The Choir of the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Maxine Thévenot, director; Stephen Tharp, guest organist, performs recent liturgical music, some recorded the first time. Three compositions for solo organ are included as well.
Andrew Ager: Missa Campanella
Richard Shephard: Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies
Peter Hallock: Thy Word is a Lantern
Ned Rorem: Mercy and Truth Are Met
Mark Blatchly: Give Us the Wings of Faith
Barry Rose: Morning Glory, Starlit Sky
Michael Sitton: Tantum Ergo
June Nixon: O Salutaris Hostia
Geraint Lewis: The Souls of the Righteous
Mary Lynn Place Badarak: Ave Verum Corpus
Derek Holman: Prevent Us, O Lord
Maurice Duruflé: In Paradisum (from Requiem)
Eleanor Daley: Missa Brevis No. 4
SOLO ORGAN:
Andrew Ager: Prélude et Fugue, Op. 30
Fredrik Sixten: Toccata Festival
Jean-Yves Daniel-LeSur: In Paradisum

Writes James Hildreth in The American Organist:
This lovely recording features sacred music by 20th- and 21st-century composers from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and France. The repertoire is suitable for liturgical use, primarily centering on the themes of death, resurrection, and eternal life. World-premiere recordings include Canadian organist-composer Andrew Ager's four-movement Missa Campanella, Australian organist-composer June Nixon's O Salutaris Hostia, and the Ave Verum Corpus of Albuquerque resident Mary Lynn Place Badarak. These works provide fresh, attractive settings of familiar liturgical texts. Other composers include Richard Shephard {Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies), Peter Hallock (Thy Word Is a Lantern), Ned Rorem (Mercy and Truth Are Met), Mark Blatchly (Give Us the Wings of Faith), Barry Rose (Morning Glory, Starlit Sky), Michael Sitton (Tantum Ergo), Geraint Lewis (The Souls of the Righteous), Derek Holman (Prevent Us, O Lord), Maurice Duruflé (In Paradisum from Requiem), and Eleanor Daley (the four-movement Missa Brevis No. 4). The repertoire, spanning more than 50 years, represents some of the finest composers of the present generation in addition to those of previous generations.
The music is beautifully sung by the Cathedral's three choirs individually and in combination. The Cathedral Choir consists of 37 voices, from which are drawn the 16-voice Cathedral Chamber Choir. Twenty young singers constitute the Cathedral Choristers. Each choir is well trained, demonstrating a high level of discipline
through excellent intonation, blend, balance, phrasing, and stylistic sensitivity. Stephen Tharp, recognized as one of the world's premier virtuoso organists, here assumes the role of collaborator, which he does brilliantly. He harnesses the resources of the large Reuter to perfectly match and support the choirs at every dynamic level.
In addition, he performs the enchanting In Paradisum by Daniel-Lesur, imparting an aura of mysticism and seraphic peace. Maxine Thevenot assumes a dual role as both a superb choir trainer and as an exciting organ virtuoso, as she performs Andrew Ager's Prelude et Fugue, Op. 30 (world premiere recording) and Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten's Toccata Festival. Ager's arresting Prelude is infused with highly charged rhythm, while the more solemn fugue is spun upon a stately theme characterized by large intervals and a slow dotted
rhythm. Sixten's engaging Toccata combines elements of neo-Classicism with jazz. Thevenot exhibits complete technical and musical command, rendering these works with joyful panache.
   The music program of the Cathedral of St. John in Albuquerque, under Thevenot's direction, is exemplary. The singers are to be commended for their commitment, clearly evident in this recording.

<font color = purple>Missa Campanella</font><BR>Choir of the Cathedral of St. John, Episcopal, Albuquerque, Maxine Thévenot, director; Stephen Tharp, guest organist</Font>
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