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Founded by Rory McCleery in Oxford in 2008, the six-voice Marian Consort focus on Renaissance and contemporary sacred music, particularly that inspired by the Virgin Mary (after whom the group is named). Their debut recording on Delphian (a collection of Marian devotional music from Renaissance Spain entitled O Virgo Benedicta) was released in 2011 and praised by Classic FM for the group’s ‘bold, bright sound with strong individual voices’; subsequent albums have included An Emerald in a Work of Gold (with The Rose Consort of Viols), Jean Maillard’s Missa Je suis déshéritée’, Music for the Queen of Heaven (an anthology of contemporary Marian works by composers including Judith Weir, Gabriel Jackson, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and James MacMillan), and Pater Peccavi: Music of Lamentation from Renaissance Portugal, all on Delphian.
Their recording of sacred music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley (including the world premiere of the former’s challenging Stabat mater) was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award in 2017.
Further Reading: Marian Consort
The Marian Consort's conductor talks to David about his new recording exploring a fascinating and unique corner of Iberia's musical history.