Northcott, Bayan: Regina Celi (No. 4 of Four Votive Antiphons)
Mezzo-soprano, three tenors and baritone.
The publication of Regina Celi completes the cycle of four votive antiphons based on the traditional chants of compline, in which the composer Bayan Northcott has imaginatively recreated many of the techniques of medieval and Renaissance music in the context of a contemporary vocal ensemble. Two earlier settings from the sequence, Salve Regina and Alma Redemptoris Mater, have recently been recorded to great acclaim by the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, on Signum SIGCD070. Whether performed by mezzo soprano, three tenors and baritone or full choir (the score may be used for either version) the cumulative effect is of a powerful distillation of the chant, as choral writing of increasing complexity brings the work – and the cycle – to a serene conclusion in F major.