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Lennox Berkeley: Sacred Choral Music



Writing in the Times Literary Supplement in 1966, Lennox Berkeley addressed directly the issue of producing sacred works: ‘How, it may be asked, does a composer approach the task of writing religious music? Does he adopt a different tone of voice, or use a special idiom? I would say that in the case of music that is religious in subject matter but intended for the concert platform there is no problem. I cannot imagine that any composer in these circumstances would want to modify his ordinary musical idiom’. Berkeley’s distinctive voice is indeed utterly recognisable throughout the three religious concert pieces considered here, but in a heightened and intensified form. The palpable fervour and sincerity of these scores secures them a place amongst the very finest examples of his art. Paul Conway

Lennox Berkeley: Sacred Choral Music


"It's good to hear [Stabat Mater] performed just as Berkeley and Britten must have intended...Berkeley's Magnificat is a BBC broadcast of the first performance in St Paul's Cathedral in 1968, with the choirs of St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, joining impressively in the vast acoustic, it really comes over well." Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review