Monday, 28 September 2015

Morales en Toledo - Ensemble Plus Ultra, Noone

Rating: 4/5

Very good Morales

This is a very good disc of Morales's music by the excellent Christopher Noone and his Ensemble Plus Ultra. Morales wrote some very fine and extremely beautiful music while at Toledo and the performances here do it full justice. The singers are technically excellent with faultless intonation and minimal vibrato, so that the harmonies and dissonances really ring out. They have a good engagement with the text and lend real meaning to what they are singing and the balance and blend of voices produces a very lovely sound, including some fabulously deep and resonant basses in places.

I have a small reservation about the acoustic. Glossa, as ever, record the sound beautifully but it is set in a very resonant and "churchy" acoustic with the choir sounding slightly distant from the listener. This slightly diminishes the distinctness of the lines and, to my ear anyway, gives a slightly disembodied feel to the disc. It's a tiny, personal reservation which many people probably won't share, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Overall, though, this is a lovely, rewarding and well-presented disc and recommended to anyone with an interest in polyphony.

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