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CHAN 8695
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CHAN 8695

Mathias: Lux Aeterna

The Classical Shop
release date: March 1998

Originally recorded in 1997


London Symphony Orchestra

Sir David Willcocks

Penelope Walker


Margaret Cable


John Scott


Felicity Lott


Choristers of St George`s Chapel

Bach Choir


All Saints' Church, Tooting, London


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Bill Todd


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 56:00
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Lux Aeterna, Op.88

1 I Lux aeterna 13:12
2 II Domine Jesu Christe 09:49
3 III Libera me 32:59
 Felicity Lott soprano
 Margaret Cable mezzo-soprano
 Penelope Walker contralto
 John Scott organ
 Sir David Willcocks
  22-25 February 1984  

Lux aeterna was commissioned by the 1982 Three Choirs Festival in association with the Arts Council of Great Britain. In composing a work dedicated to his mother, Mathias decided against setting the normal Regquiem text, the concept of ’Light’ meaning more to him that of ’Rest’. The text brings together words from the Requiem mass, the Mass in Ordinary, the Mass for a Woman not a Martyr, and the Vespers for Trinity Sunday - sung in the main by the large choir, four anthems to the Blessed Virgin - given to the boys choir; and on a third level, four of Roy Campbell’s English translations of poems by St John of the Cross - sung by the three soloists.

Formally the work falls into three sections, each part beginning with an increasingly passionate plea for salvation. The work ends with a reiteration of the great prayer for eternal light.

"...The sound quality is outstandingly good. The ample resonance of All Saint’s Church, Tooting, South London, adds a glorious richness to the sound, with exceptionally natural balance and perspectives - yet, at the same time there is excellent clarity of detail and separation between the various groups involved and the recording has no difficulty in handling the wide dynamic range of Mathia’s complex scoring, with its extensive use of tuned percussion... A wonderful record."

G H Lewis - Welsh Music - Summer 1990

"... Sir David dominates the preceedings with sovereign grace. His choirs sing gorgeously, the boy sopranosbeing especially praiseworthy for their open-throated vigor and palpable humanity. The soloists ... are radiant of voice and authoritative of enunciation... A thoughtful, sincere, and welcome contribution to the world’s general clutter, this requiem mass should in time take a place of honour beside the equally unorthodox musical structures of Brahms and Britten."

David Claris - Fanfare - January/Febrary 1990

"...Each and every one of the participants in this undertaking - from conuctor Willcocks to sound engineer Ralph Couzens - does his or her necessary part in fusing the myriad components of Mathias’ teeming/aural imagination into a single entity, and all are to be commended in the highest terms. They help make this alternatively explosive and diaphanous, seraphic and boisterous, always elegant and handsome work a significant addition to that great and growing body of 20th-century English choral masterpieces."

PS - Fanfare - July/August 1985

"... the confidence of the writing makes the work far more than derivative, an approachable and colourful piece, full of memorable ideas, especially in this excellent performance, beautifully sung and played and atmospherically balanced."

The Penguin Complete Guide

"...It is a full, wide-ranging recording and one admires the wholehearted commitment of all concerned to Mathias’s music..."

MK - Gramophone  - November 1989

"...not to be missed is the Britten inspired Mathias: Lux Aeterna. This noble work is most sensitively interpreted by the Bach Choir and LSO forces under Sir David Willcocks. Especially memorable is the overlapping of the Chorus, the Boys Chorus and the Soloists - including Felcity Lott - in the great prayer for eternal light and Mathias’ vision of the Holy Trinity."

Hedley Berry - Classical Express - October 1989

C Bowering

S Jerusalem