Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Phinot - Missa Si bona suscepimus etc. - The Brabant Ensemble

Rating: 5/5

A terrific disc

The Brabant Ensemble are doing a really fine job in bringing us wonderful music from some composers of the "forgotten generation" after Josquin in the first half of the Sixteenth Century. Sometimes when I hear the music of a previously neglected composer it seems to me that they have been neglected for a very good reason. Not here, by any means. As with the Brabants' lovely disc of music by the little-known Crecquillon, this is a truly beautiful and engrossing disc of motets and a mass setting of the highest quality. It reminded me most strongly of Phinot's rough contemporary Clemens non Papa, who was a very fine composer indeed. Phinot's excellent compositional technique and his use in some settings of double choir for real depth and sonority make the programme a real pleasure.

As always, the Brabant Ensemble's performance is excellent. They have impeccable technique, faultless intonation and a finely judged expressiveness which really enhances the music and text while never dominating either with intrusive tricks. They now have a well established and well deserved international reputation, and this is one of their loveliest discs to date. In addition, Hyperion's recorded sound is up to its normal excellent standard and the notes are very interesting and well-written.

A real beauty of a disc, very warmly recommended.

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