Lassus, York Minster Choir, John Scott Whitely - Great Choral Works

Published Saturday 6th June 2009
Lassus, York Minster Choir, John Scott Whitely - Great Choral Works
Lassus, York Minster Choir, John Scott Whitely - Great Choral Works

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Regent REGCD297

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Orlande de Lassus (1530/32-1594) was the most widely-known and admired musician of the 16th century and it is alleged that during his lifetime half of the printed music in Europe was by "Orlando Magnifique", as he once signed himself. Is he that good? This CD certainly does all it can to sway the unconvinced with just over an hour of beautiful music, featuring many of his best-known sacred works, together with large-scale settings of the "Magnificat" and "Veni Creator". The singers are The Girl Choristers and Gentlemen of York Minster Choir directed by John Scott Whitely. It has to be said that Girl Choristers make a different sound to Boy Trebles. Not better and not worse but certainly different and so this recording cannot be said to be fully authentic, if such things matter to you. But it is sung well. John Scott Whitely is one of the finest organists in the country but on this CD he is content to wield the baton and nothing more, allowing Lassus to speak for himself. The recording was made in the Chapter House of York Minster and, yet again, Regent Records' producer and engineer Gary Cole does a superb job in giving us a crystal-clear acoustic. This is an excellent release and well worth hearing. It is a good introduction to an important composer and if you enjoy Tallis and want to follow the next step in the development of choral music this is a good place to continue your investigations.

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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