Those who think that Herbert Howells is strictly for Anglican church music buffs may have their assumptions challenged by this superb disc. Missa Sabrinensis was commissioned by David Willcocks (of King’s College fame) for the 1954 Three Choirs Festival in Worcester and forms a companion piece with the better known Hymnus Paradisi , also commissioned for the festival.

Howells: Missa Sabrinensis (BBC Concert Orchestra, Bach Choir, David Hill)

Missa Sabrinensis (Mass of the Severn) takes its inspiration from the Severn River (Sabrina in Latin) that flows through country that was familiar to Howells. Massive in conception and in the forces required for its performance, this “concert” Mass could be said to be a highly perfumed score, but the perfume is definitely not that of...

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