Francisco De Penalosa, Choir Of Westminster Cathedral - Missa Ave Maria

Tuesday 1st February 1994
Francisco De Penalosa, Choir Of Westminster Cathedral - Missa Ave Maria

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Hyperion 66629

Reviewed by John Biddulph

It is difficult to find enough superlatives to describe this quality example of renaissance music. The music of Francisco De Penalosa included on this recording is exquisite in both content and performance. If you are looking for an introduction to the sacred choral music of the late sixteenth century or have a collection bursting at the seams this is simply a must. The vocal lines are delivered with clarity and control by the Choir Of Westminster Cathedral and, under the direction of James O'Donnell, they achieve a quality rarely matched in this difficult musical genre. All the sections of the "Missa Ave Maria" are noteworthy but radiant in its simplicity and brilliant in its execution is the "Sanctus". The recording quality and engineering are as they should be on a disc of this kind, sympathetic to the nature of the music and not intrusive in any way. This disc is simply crammed with excellence and deserves a place in any collection. The music can be uplifting and the subject of detailed and intense listening - it could also be listened to in a lighter moment of relaxation.

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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