Nov 26, The Eton Choirbook, one of only three such books (along with the Lambeth Choirbook and the Caius Choirbook to survive from. The Eton choirbook (Eton College MS. ), the leading source of late fifteenth- century English music, is a splendid production with fine illuminated initial letters . The Eton Choirbook and its Legacy of Sacred Music. In May , the Genesis Foundation continued its commission and mentoring programme featuring a.

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Astonishingly, this is the only recording currently available of music from that most precious of early Tudor sources, the Eton Choirbook. Like the huge, exquisitely copied manuscript that contains them, the pieces are monumental and sumptuous in style, and rarely short-winded: Nor is it easy music to perform, especially at the high pitch that the choir adopt.

The Eton Choirbook. Facsimile Edition. Eton College Library MS Commentary by Magnus Williamson

Ornamental roulades, lines that swoop and soar, vast melismas that stretch single syllables into choral choirboom and other obstacles place the Eton music far beyond the ability of most choirs. But what glorious music it is, and how richly it deserves to be performed more often by those few specialists who can meet its challenges.


In certain respects this Meridian reissue is welcome and generous: In other respects it disappoints: Harry Christophers opts for a tense, assertive choral sound that sometimes borders on roughness, especially in the pieces for men’s voices alone.

Abrupt shifts in dynamics are virtually the only interpretative shaping that he admits, and even these can seem contrived. Admittedly the policy of letting the music speak largely for itself has some justification, yet so much more remains to be eked out of pieces of the majesty of Choirvook Browne’s Stabat mater and Robert Wilkinson’s breathtaking nine-part Salve regina.

But how dearly this awesome music demands something even better. If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

Skip to main content. Composition Artist Credits Salve regina.

Ave Maria, mater Dei. Music from the Eton Choirbook Salve regina.

The Eton Choirbook

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