Roland De Lassus, The Consort Of Musicke - Le Labrime Di San Pietro

Thursday 1st December 1994
Roland De Lassus, The Consort Of Musicke - Le Labrime Di San Pietro

STYLE: Choral
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: L'Diseau-Lyre 4431972

Reviewed by John Irvine

Roland De Lassus, also known as Orlando Di Lasso, belonged to the Franco-Flemish school of composers whose work was of supreme international importance in the 16th century. He was one of the most important composers of the period along with Palestrina and Vittoria. He composed a considerable quantity of church music including over 70 settings of the Mass, in addition to being the leading madrigalist of his day. Lassus was probably the most wide-ranging composer of his time. The "Lagrime De San Pietro" ("Tears Of St Peter") was completed days before his death in 1594 and could be considered both the monumental summation of his life's work and a final reckoning with his Creator. It is certainly a masterpiece of choral writing in which the devotional aspects of Lassus' church music are joined with the subtle colouring and textures expected in madrigal music. The piece is a setting of an Italian poem by Luigi Tansillo which dwells on St Peter's guilt and remorse for his betrayal of Christ. The final verse offers absolution, of sorts, and the hitherto unaccompanied chamber choir are joined by a consort of viols. This is quite outstanding renaissance music, exquisitely performed by the Consort Of Musicke, an early music vocal group featuring some of the UK's leading singers. A very welcome re-release of a fine recording.

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