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Leighton & Martin: Masses for Double Choir / Fort, Choir of King's College London

Release Date: 04/26/2019 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34211  
Composer:  Kenneth LeightonFrank MartinJehan-Ariste Alain
Performer:  James Orford
Conductor:  Joseph Fort
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London King's College Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In the 1920s Frank Martin, a Swiss Calvinist by upbringing, created a radiant Latin setting of the Mass for double choir, only to return it to the bottom drawer, considering it to be ‘a matter between God and myself’. It was finally released for performance forty years later, around the same time that the Edinburghbased composer Kenneth Leighton made his own double-choir setting – a work with moments of striking stillness, delightful to choral singers and yet rarely recorded. Contrasts and comparisons abound at every point in this fascinating pairing of Masses from the supposedly godless twentieth century, and are brought out to the full by The Choir of King’s College London’s impassioned performances. A short organ postlude by the teenage Read more Jehan Alain, written on retreat in a monastery in 1930, follows like a voluntary concluding the liturgy.



This is serious stuff, but sounds like serious fun to sing. I'm still swooning at the Credo, its urgent, single note chants surrounded by constant shifting organ harmonies. Or at the diaphanous clouds of sacred haziness which swell to bursting point in the Sanctus. What a piece! And what a colourful performance it gets here, Joseph Fort’s superbly drilled Choir of King’s College London singing with shedloads of oomph. Whoever said that English choral singing was pale and insipid? Ravishing stuff, magnificently recorded.

– The Arts Desk (Graham Rickson) Read less

Works on This Recording

Mass, Op. 44 by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  James Orford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joseph Fort
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; England 
Mass for Double Chorus by Frank Martin
Conductor:  Joseph Fort
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Switzerland 
Postlude pour l'office de Complies for Organ, AWV 13/Op. 21 by Jehan-Ariste Alain
Performer:  James Orford (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; France 

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