Star of Heaven: The Eton Choirbook Legacy | The Sixteen

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Star of Heaven album cover showing a late 12th century mosaic of God creating heaven and the stars

Star of Heaven: The Eton Choirbook Legacy. Album by The Sixteen



Album Description

The Eton Choirbook is famous – and important – because it uniquely preserves some of the most spectacular music composed in Britain before the age of Purcell and Handel. Had this book not survived, literally dozens of superb pieces would have been irretrievably lost; among them would have been the ones by WalterLambe, William Cornysh and Robert Wylkynson on this album. Whilst the book itself is of huge historic significance, its legacy is immeasurable, informing and influencing scores of composers and performers for more than 500 years. This unique recording emphasises that legacy with the premiere of four new works by contemporary composers all commissioned by the Genesis Foundation and all inspired by the works from the Eton Choirbook alongside which they sit. This album also features Stephen Hough’s stunning exploration of faith worldwide — Hallowed — which was commissioned for The British Museum’s ‘Living with Gods’ exhibition.


The Sixteen
Harry Christophers


'Forty years on, The Sixteen's supple, fastidiously nuanced soundworld continues to serve 'ancient' and 'modern' with aplomb.BBC Music Magazine Performance: ★★★★ Recording: ★★★★★

'This is a sumptuous, statuesque work and an equally sumptuous and impressive performance.Gramophone

'These performances are liquid-gold.' i news (previously known as The Independent), ★★★★

'The Sixteen's rapturously sung Star of Heaven (CORO) combines music from the Eton Choirbook with new commissions.'  The Observer 

'It goes without saying that the singing of the Sixteen under Christophers was wonderful beyond words.' Church Times (On the Star of Heaven concert performed at Eton on 22 May 2018)

Track Listing:

1. Nesciens mater

Walter Lambe (1450-1504)
2. Nesciens mater

Joseph Phibbs (b.1974)
3. Nesciens mater+

William Cornysh (1465-1523)
4. Ave Maria, mater Dei

Philip Cooke (b.1980)
5. Ave Maria, mater Dei+

Sir James MacMillan (b.1959)
6. O Virgo prudentissima+

7. Stella caeli

Marco Galvani (b.1994)
8. Stella caeli+

Robert Wylkynson (c.1450-1515)
9. Salve Regina

Stephen Hough (b.1961)
10. In blessing (Genesis 22: 17-18)
11. Staying the night in a mountain temple
12. Song of the Earth
13. Pater Noster (Matthew 6: 9-13)

Total running time:   66.57

+ Commissioned by the Genesis Foundation

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