Sanctissima: Vespers and Benediction for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
From Mattins and Eucharist to Evensong or Vespers, Christian liturgy has often been structured with music in mind, with psalms, anthems, hymns, mass settings, and sung responses designed to complement the spoken word. This spectacular program takes us through an imagined service of Vespers and Benediction that might be sung in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Throughout, plainchant is interspersed with Renaissance motets and brand-new premieres by composing luminaries including David Bednall, Julian Anderson, Olivier Tarney, Giles Swayne, and the late John Joubert. Highlights include Tarney’s shimmering, multi-layered reflection on the antiphon “Maria Virgo assumpta est” and Matthew Martin’s Sanctissima with its foot firmly in both ancient and modern worlds. In both the polyphonic works and plainchant, Suzi Digby coaxes magical sounds from a vocal group of impeccable balance and blend.