Saturday, 12 September 2015

Obrecht - Missa Sub Tuum Praesidium - The Clerk's Group

Rating: 5/5

An excellent recording

This is a terrific recording of Obrecht's Missa Sub tuum praesidium and a selection of motets. Obrecht was active in the latter half of the 15th Century and was one of the most famous composers of his day - and it's easy to see why on this evidence. His music is beautifully structured, varied and sets the texts superbly. It has the slightly spare sound (to the modern ear) of the 15th Century rather than the richness which became evident in later polyphony, but is no less beautiful for that.

The Clerk's Group sing it wonderfully. This is at least as good as their seminal recordings of Ockeghem, I think. They have impeccable intonation and phrasing, and a genuine engagement with the text which really brings the music alive. The balance of voices is exemplary and they sing with a sort of unfussy directness which suits this music perfectly.

With excellent recorded sound, good notes and attractive presentation this is a first-rate disc all round and very warmly recommended.

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