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ClassicsOnline Home » PALESTRINA, G.P.: Missa o sacrum convivium (Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Darlington)
This is a rare album for enthusiasts of glorious Sixteenth-century choral music. No need for personal belief to find ecstasy in these works based on Christian religious texts: motets and a mass on the theme of the Eucharist.
Palestrina is one of those rare composers who offers an aesthetic experience without using "expressive" devices. The vocal lines move smoothly up, then down, without shocking contrasts - and the result is just bafflingly gorgeous. I've become addicted to Giovanni Pierluigi's sublime loftiness.
The Christ Church Cathedral Choir, directed by Stephen Darlington, has a nice homogenous choral sound, using boy trebles and male altos (in the British cathedral tradition as well as the Cappella Sistina for which Palestrina composed). Those accustomed to the soprano-led brilliance of the Tallis Scholars, who have somewhat "cornered the market" for Renaissance polyphony, might find the general effect rather flat. But just listen to the Agnus Dei in the 'O Sacrum Convivium' Mass on this album: the effect of calm intensity is mesmerizing.more....
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PALESTRINA, G.P.: Missa o sacrum convivium (Christ...