Thursday, 14 April 2016

Fayrfax - The Masses - The Cardinall's Musick - Carwood

Rating: 5/5

A superb set

The three discs in this set are compiled from the set of five discs which The Cardinall's Musick made of Fayrfax's complete works. Fayrfax himself was an English composer of the first half of the 16th Century, and wrote these five magnificent mass settings plus some very beautiful settings of the Magnificat and other texts. His music is rich, delicately beautiful in some places and spine-tinglingly sonorous in others. The Cardinall's Musick are the perfect ensemble for this repertoire: a superb group of singers with a rich, resonant tone and acoustic, directed by the excellent Andrew Carwood who has an unsurpassed feel and understanding of English music of this period. The combination is irresistible, and I urge you not to resist.

The original five discs were favourites of mine as they came out, and remain so. This set is slightly diminished in that works such as the sublimely lovely Aeternae laudis lilium are missing, and two of the masses have to be split over two discs. However, at this price you are getting a simply fantastic set of music which will give you pleasure for years and years to come. Just listen to the Sanctus of the Missa Albanus and I guarantee you'll be transported by its sheer loveliness. A set not to be missed.

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