In Robert Wylkynson’s “Salve regina” from the Eton Choirbook we find a brilliant example of the English love of extravagant sonority, here with a rich nine-voice texture spanning soaring trebles to plummeting basses. And the alternation of intricately figured, more intimate scorings with the full texture gives a very satisfying and dynamic contour to the expansiveness of the piece. Additionally, conceived as an angel composition–the nine voices correspond to the nine orders of the celestial hierarchy–the contextual richness offers an imaginative frame for a truly extraordinary work.
Professor of Musicology, Oberlin Conservatory
EMA Board Member