BBC Music Magazine

Leighton / Martin: Masses for double choir


The Choir of King’s College London / Joseph Fort Some time in the 1920s Frank Martin, a Swiss Calvinist by upbringing, created a radiant Latin setting of the Mass, but kept it as ‘a matter between God and myself’. It was finally performed forty years later, around the same time that the Edinburgh-based composer Kenneth Leighton made his own double-choir setting – a work with moments of striking stillness, delightful to choral singers yet rarely recorded. Contrasts and comparison­s abound in this fascinatin­g pairing of works 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 performanc­e of astonishin­g intensity and musicality … fervently delivered by the gloriously robust King’s College London choir’ — Gramophone, May 2019

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