Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Regnart - Missa Super Oeniades Nymphae - Cinquecento
A very fine disc
Cinquecento are now well-established as a very good vocal ensemble. This was the disc which introduced me to them, and made me an instant fan. One of Cinquecento's aims is to bring more obscure Renaissance repertoire to wider attention and they succeed brilliantly with this disc. The music here is exclusively by Jacob Regnart - a composer I'd never heard of before but whose music turns out to be beautiful and very rewarding. There is a very fine mass setting and some really excellent motets here and the whole disc was a delightful revelation to me.
The group sing superbly. They are technically excellent and sing at a low pitch in the tradition of the Low Countries, with countertenors taking the top lines. This gives a very a full, resonant sound, emphasised by the resonant acoustic, while Hyperion's usual excellent recording standard means that every line is clear while blending to give a fabulous overall sound and the effect is truly lovely.
This has been a favourite disc of mine ever since I got it and I recommend it very warmly to anyone who likes Renaissance polyphony or if you just want a really rewarding, beautiful musical experience