The Choir of Royal Holloway has released an album on the Ad Fontes label that presents the debut recording of Pierre Villette’s Messe Da Pacem in a new arrangement for choir and organ by Rupert Gough. Alongside the Mass is Villette’s well-known Hymne à la Vierge, and works by contemporary Parisian composer Yves Castagnet recorded here for the first time. The album opens with a new choral arrangement of Ravel’s ever-popular Pavane pour une infante défunte. The Choir is joined by alumna, and award-winning soprano, Sarah Fox, and accompanied on the newly restored Cavaillé-Coll organ of Notre-Dame d’Auteuil in Paris.
Amongst the good reviews is this from Choir and Organ Magazine:
★★★★★ ‘Think the soundworld of Debussy and Duruflé, occasionally inflected by jazz-derived harmonies and some churchy counterpoint, and you have Villette’s appealing musical style. …this disc offers an intriguing and revealing listen. The whole programme showcases the choir’s near-ideal blend and fresh, open tone, supported by sensitive organ accompaniment.’
See a great promotional video here.