Saturday, 5 December 2015

Gabrieli - Venise sur Garonne - Les Sacqueboutiers

Rating: 5/5

Fabulous Gabrieli

I think this is an excellent disc. Gabrieli's music is a delight; written for the great cathedral of San Marco in Venice around the start of the 17th Century it is rich, complex and full of a wonderful array of harmonic and contrapuntal ideas.

What makes this so good is the playing of the musicians and the excellent recording. Les Sacqueboutiers play superbly on their period instruments and their ensemble playing is excellent, even when there are over 20 of them divided into 5 separate groups (or "choirs") as they would have been in San Marco. Their precision and balance is impeccable and the overall sound is incredibly satisfying.

Credit for this must be shared by the recording engineers. It is difficult to convey that huge, fat Renaissance brass sound while preserving the distinctness of instruments and the clarity of individual lines. I think they get it exactly right on this recording – it sounds ideal to my ears and it's a pleasure from start to finish.

In short, this is a fabulous recording of terrific music. If you have any interest in this repertoire, don't hesitate. Very warmly recommended.

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