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Ex Maria Virgine
Ensemble Detail(s)
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
James McVinnie, organ; Stefan Berkieta, baritone; Simon Thomas Jacobs, organ
Label name
Recording year
Conductor details
Timothy Brown

Work Title


The major piece in this new collection of seven choral works by John Tavener is Ex Maria Virgine , a 10-movement, 38-minute Christmas sequence for choir and organ that was written as a wedding present for the marriage of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005. The writing ranges from an almost breathless joyfulness to pools of slow-moving contemplation. Tavener's ear for radiant tonal harmonies is well in evidence in this responsive performance....
Michael Dervan, Irish Times, 11/28/2008

Tavener’s lifelong spiritual development has prompted significant shifts in his music, leaving consistent traces while opening up new creative avenues. The lyricism and tender humanity of his recent works, inspired by the composer’s take on Universalism and its belief in one common god, are ever present in an exceptional new Naxos release. Ex Maria Virgine, a sequence of texts associated with the Virgin Mary, sharply contradicts the lazy line that all Tavener sounds the same: it doesn’t! Compare, for example, his ecstatic setting of ‘Ding! Dong! Merrily on high’ with his ‘Rocking Carol’. An unmissable budget release.
Andrew Stewart, Classic FM Magazine, 1/1/2009

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