Mors et Vita (includes Judex)
Charles Gounod


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Gounod's epic work falls 51 places in this year's Hall of Fame

As a man who espoused fifteen minutes of Bible-reading every day, Gounod's thoughts were never far away from the next big brimstone-and-treacle epic that might have them cowering in the aisles. Mors et Vita ('death and life' it doesn't get any more broad brush) was premiered in Birmingham in 1885, and featured a judge, who sits on a throne, intoning his judgments. That judge (Judex) owns possibly the most beautiful music in the whole piece. It has certainly become a firm favourite with Classic FM listeners and the Judex tends to eclipse the rest of the work.