The celebrated Choir of Westminster Cathedral gets back to its roots with this recording of some of the towering masterpieces of Renaissance polyphony -. Palestrina's Missa Te Deum laudamus is a paraphrase Mass. Like the chant on which it is based, is in the Phrygian mode, which in modern terms can be regarded as a modal form of E minor. Haberl, a late nineteenth-century editor of the complete works of Palestrina, commented that, "this gives the Mass a certain severity of coloring, but [it is] full of holy fire." The Missa Tu es Petrus is a parody Mass based closely on Palestrina's own motet for the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (published in Rome in his second book of motets in 1572), from which a great deal of the musical material of the Mass is drawn. The motet, which precedes the Mass on this disc, is one of the most gloriously sunlit and uplifting pieces in all of Palestrina's music, and its joyous splendor sets the tone for the Mass.
Westminster Cathedral Choir - Martin Baker, direction