MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Music for Saint Katherine of Alexandria
The Binchois Consort/Andrew Kirkman
rec. 2018, Ascot Priory, UK
Latin texts and English translations included
HYPERION CDA68274 [66:17]

This wonderful disc, centred around the Missa Nobilis et pulcra by Walter Frye, presents fifteenth century English liturgical music composed in honour of Saint Katherine of Alexandria, the early fourth century Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred by order of the Roman Emperor Maxentius.

The music presented here is quite sumptuous, with Walter Frye’s Mass for three voices proving a real revelation. Its five sections are spread throughout the disc. This is the fourth disc for Hyperion which The Binchois Consort have dedicated to the music of Frye, though the only other I have heard is The Lilly and the Rose (CDA68228). On this evidence I will be investing in the others. The Mass itself is based upon the plainsong used in Matins on the feast day of Saint Katherine on 25th November. The music is beautifully sung by The Binchois Consort, who really bring out the mellifluous quality of the music. A super find.

Of the rest of the music presented on this disc, one name stands out - John Dunstaple, probably the best-known composer here. His Gaude virgo Katherina is quite beautiful, as is his Salve scema sanctitatis, especially in the way the composer divides the texts between the different voices. Whilst the music of Robert Driffelde shows that The Binchois Consort and their director Andrew Kirkman’s zeal in searching the musical byways for gems is worth it – these mass movements are wonderful. The setting by Thomas Byttering, a composer new to me, is likewise charming, En Katerine solennia fully deserving its place here.

This is an excellent disc, with The Binchois Consort in brilliant voice throughout. They are unfailingly well-balanced and controlled – the warm polyphony is expertly and clearly enunciated, whilst the tempos bring out the best from the music. The recorded sound is excellent, while the booklet notes, only in English, are informative and valuable. Full Latin texts and English translations also included.

Stuart Sillitoe

Previous review: Gary Higginson

Walter FRYE (d. 1475) Missa Nobilis et pulcra – Kyrie; ‘Deus creator omnium’
FRYE: Missa nobilis et pulcra – Gloria [6:27]
Thomas (?) BYTTERING (fl.c1410-30) En Katerine solennia/ Virginalis concio/ Sposus amat sponsam [2:46]
ANON: Gloria ‘Virgo flagellatur – reconstructed by Philip Weller
Chant & Faburden – Nobilis et pulcra [1:57]
FRYE: Missa Nobilis et pulcra – Credo [6:07]
John DUNSTAPLE (c. 1390-1453) Gaude virgo Katherina [4:26]
Robert (?) DRIFFELDE (fl. 1424-1468) Sanctus and Benedictus ‘Regnum mundi’ [4:46]
Chant & Faburden –Virgo flagellatur [2:48]
DRIFFELDE: Agnus dei ‘Eructavit cor meum’ [5:02]
FRYE: Missa Nobilis et pulcra – Sanctus and Benedictus [6:25]
FRYE: Missa Nobilis et pulcra – Agnus dei [6:09]
DUNSTAPLE: Salve scema sanctitatis [6:34]


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount