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Thomas J Mitchell  – Choral realisations (arr Stuart Mitchell)

The Rosslyn Motet
Members of The Tallis Chamber Choir

Songs of the Chartres Labyrinth
The Chartres Singers

Divine Art ddv24122 [2006 : 33 mins]

There must be literally thousands of private chapels scattered about the globe whose designs reflect the unique tenets of their founders.  Scotland’s Rosslyn Chapel is more ornate and better preserved than many and has attracted worldwide interest, some might even say notoriety, as the location of the final clue in The Da Vinci Code

Working with different motivation, father and son Thomas and Stuart Mitchell have spent fifteen years studying the “little cubes” that are a feature of the architecture and de-coding them into a form of musical notation.   It must have been painstaking work and the results are realised in the four “motets” recorded here.

Further research revealed a similar notation pattern hidden in the floor tiles of Chartres Cathedral and the construction of a further four pieces.

They are sung with commendable precision variously by members of the Tallis Chamber Choir and the Chartres Singers and this CD can justly claim to provide a unique listening experience.   For all the care and ingenuity employed I failed to be persuaded of the musical value of the result, which I could only describe as dull and rather monotonous. 

The Mitchell’s scholarly work should certainly not be dismissed as a gimmick, but were it not for the success of Dan Brown’s novel, I doubt that this recording would have seen the light of day. 

Serena Fenwick