Truro Cathedral Choir - Lôbo Missa Vox Clamantis and works by Guerrero, Victoria, Vivanco

Published Saturday 24th June 2017
Truro Cathedral Choir - Lôbo Missa Vox Clamantis and works by Guerrero, Victoria, Vivanco
Truro Cathedral Choir - Lôbo Missa Vox Clamantis  and works by Guerrero, Victoria, Vivanco

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 166383-25852
LABEL: Regent REGCD491

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This interesting collection gives Duarte Lôbo top billing, ahead of the more famous Tomas Luis de Victoria. Lôbo was a Portuguese composer born around 1564 who spent the best years of his career as mestre da capela at Lisbon Cathedral until his death in 1646. It is believed that much of his work was lost in the devastating earthquake of 1755 which might go towards explaining why he is not as well-known as some of his contemporaries. Certainly de Victoria rated him highly and in the 'Missa Vox Clamantis' for six voices of 1639 featured on this disc we can see why. The brief review is to say that if you enjoy Tomas Luis de Victoria (c 1548-1611) I can almost guarantee you will appreciate Duarte Lôbo. Other works from the Golden Age of Renaissance polyphony included in the programme are a major mass setting by Victoria ('Missa Simile Est Regnum Coelorum') together with Francisco Guerrero's motet 'Simile Est Regnum Coelorum', Sebastian de Vivanco's large-scale eight-part setting of the Magnificat, and Victoria's ever-popular motet 'O Quam Gloriosum'. Another brief review would be to say that if you do not enjoy de Victoria, steer clear of this release. However those who like good choral singing will appreciate this CD, even if Renaissance polyphony is not your first choice. Truro Cathedral Choir, directed by Christopher Gray, give an excellent account making full use of the acoustic of the cathedral, beautifully recorded by the reliable Gary Cole. There were some points where the top voices sounded stretched but given the challenges of the programme it is easy to forgive them. It is too easy to play safe and give us another bland choral evensong programme so any choir that travels back in time to rescue an almost forgotten composer from undeserved obscurity gets three cheers from this reviewer.

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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