Annibale Padovano, Huelgas-Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel - Messe A 24 Voix

Published Sunday 27th October 2013
Annibale Padovano, Huelgas-Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel - Messe A 24 Voix
Annibale Padovano, Huelgas-Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel - Messe A 24 Voix

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Musique D'Abord HMA1951727

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Annibale Padovano (1527-1575) is not one of the better known composers of his era so this welcome re-release of a disc that was recorded in 2001 allows us to make his better acquaintance. Belgian musicologist and conductor Paul Van Nevel has done us a service by rescuing Padovano's two settings of the Mass for 24 voices from its obscurity and the Huelgas-Ensemble give us a first class performance in what was in 2001 a debut recording. This re-issue is on a budget label and although the packaging is of the cheap and cheerful variety the music is well worth hearing and is now excellent value for very little money. The two takes on the Mass are the same and yet different. Version One - this reviewer's preferred choice - features the choir, two cornets and trombone and Version Two has three vocal parts and 21 instrumental parts. The simpler instrumentation of Version One appeals to me because the voices take centre stage with the brass dancing around the melody in what must have been quite a revolutionary way in the 16th century. The recording is crystal clear allowing us to hear everything that is happening and I would be surprised if anyone hearing this for the first time did not reach the end without a smile on their face. In the overall history of European choral music Padovano made little lasting impression but I for one am glad to have heard this CD.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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