Album: The Ebor Singers, Paul Gameson, Mystery & Miracle: Music From Medieval York (Boreas)
This survey of sacred a cappella music linked to the city of York furnishes some surprises, not least the revelation that the earliest surviving sacred polyphony was intended not for church service but the community-based performances associated with the York Mystery Plays.
Here, short solo and duet pieces from that source are interspersed with Gavin Bryars’ settings of comparable religious texts. The “Gloria” and “Credo” of Mass II offer satisfying alternations of plainchant and polyphony, while the “Benedictus” and “Agnus Dei” present more complex, elaborate settings akin to the Eton Choirbook – though the Ebor Singers’ impart a natural, unflamboyant grace.
Download: Super flumina; Kyrie – Mass I; Agnus Dei – Mass IV
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