Wednesday, 1 July 2015

King's Singers - The Golden Age

Rating: 4/5

A good recording

This is a disc of very fine repertoire, well sung by The King's Singers.  The music is by a variety of Portugesee, Spanish and Mexican composers, some very well known like Victoria and Morales, and some much less so.  All the works are very fine, and it is especially interesting to have three settings of the funeral motet Versa est in luctum (including the famous setting by Alonso Lobo) to compare.

The performances are, as always from The Kings' Singers, technically flawless in intonation and blend, with a very good fluency of line and with that King's Singers sound evident throughout.  They also employ a bajon (an early type of bassoon) in several places, which is very well done adds a great deal to the music here.

I have slightly mixed feelings about The King's Singers; their disc of Josquin is among my favourites from the whole of my collection [[ASIN:B000003FK2 Renaissance: The Music of Josquin  Desprez]], but I find the uniformity of the sound can, at other times, sometimes slip over into slight blandness and monotony.  There is a bit of that here, and I find that a few pieces at a time is enough for me.  Individually they are excellent but as a whole programme it gets just a bit samey – which shouldn't be the case with fine music like this.

A slightly qualified recommendation, then, but a recommendation nonetheless.  This is a good recording of some really fine polyphony and, if you're happy with The King's Singers' sound, it will give a lot of pleasure.

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