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“Winning performances... The Welsh composer is represented at his best”
Gramophone
Gloriæ Dei Cantores celebrates the exuberance and touching humanity of this great Welsh composer. This recording of Mathias's sacred choral music includes several recorded premieres as well as his last sacred choral work, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Also featured are the Missa Brevis, Rex Gloriæ (four a cappella motets), The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23) sung in Welsh by the men's choir, and Veni Sancte Spiritus (commissioned for the Three Choirs Festival in 1985), among other works. This release from Gloriæ Dei Cantores was recorded in Methuen Memorial Music Hall (Methuen, Massachusetts) with its grand acoustic and superb organ. It was awarded a Rosette by the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs

Premiere and Only Works

Track 10 Except the Lord Build the House
Track 11 Angelus
Track 12 Veni Sancte Spiritus
Track 14 The Lord is My Shepherd
Track 15 Hodie Christus Natus Est
Track 16 Alleluia
Track 17 Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Critical Acclaim

 

  • The late Welsh composer William Mathias wrote a large body of sacred choral music, all of it beautifully crafted...Gloriae Dei Cantores, an excellent choir from Cape Cod, Mass, presents here 10 of his finest pieces for a cappella chorus and chorus with organ. This music often sustains an ethereal effect...and Missa Brevis, the heart of this album lies with the short anthems that brought forth some of Mathias’ most imaginative music. Appropriately, the recording has taken the title of one of the best of these. The 44-voice choir under Elizabeth Patterson acquits itself with focus, discipline and clarity, and is nicely supported by various instruments and James E. Jordan, Jr., playing the organ...Especially when it is floating into the ether in Mathias’s most rapturous a cappella passages, the chorus fulfills the promise of this beautiful, affecting music.
    Chicago Tribune
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  • This wonderful release...a most welcome anthology, superbly performed and well recorded. A must for all Mathias fans. Others will find much to allure and admire.
    Music Web International
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  • Mathias’ view was that `Music is an immense celebration.’ That feeling certainly comes over from the very opening of this splendidly sung programme from Gloriae Dei Cantores...Mathias could hardly have hoped for more persuasive advocacy, nor finer recording.
    Penguin Guide to Compact Discs, Awarded a Rosette
  • The singing is excellent. The bright and secure sopranos are well balanced by the lightweight basses, and blend attractively with the lyrical tenors...One of the major attributes is pianissimo singing that retains a warmth while at the same time spinning out the most fragile textures. James Jordan’s organ participation is well balanced, and the brass and percussion bring shafts of luminosity.
    Fanfare
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  • The Gloriae Dei Cantores presents here two larger works, the 1973 Missa Brevis and the 1981 Rex Gloriae, along with eight anthems. The timing of 74:36 (just about the maximum for a CD), together with the interest of the repertory and the quality of the performance, make this a great buy. The disc title comes from a 1989 work of exquisite sensitivity and simplicity, sung with ravishing tone. All eight anthems are a joy to hear, but special mention must be made of the TTBB/piano setting in Welsh of Psalm 23, the stunning 1992 Except the Lord Build the House, and the exciting Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
    Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians
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  • This superb disc is completed by eight anthems, including a setting of the 23rd psalm in Welsh.
    Royal School of Church Music
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  • Covering Mathias’ writing from 1973 – 1992, Gloriae Dei Cantores has programmed Missa Brevis, Rex Gloriae, and eight anthems, including Except the Lord Build the House, The Doctrine of Wisdom, and Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. The writing of Mathias is a challenge for any ensemble. Gloriae Dei Cantores not only meets the challenge head-on but conquers it with a passion. The excellent singing of the Gloriae Dei Cantores is matched by a superb corps of instrumentalists led by organist James E. Jordan, Jr. The program booklet contains excellent commentary on both the music and the organ.
    Christianity and The Arts

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