Monday, 28 August 2017
Moulu - Missa Missus Est Gabriel angelus - Brabant Ensemble
An excellent disc
This is another really good disc from the Brabant Ensemble. They have a mission to explore the work of neglected composers of the early to mid 16th Century and their outstanding previous discs of works by Crecquillon, Phinot and others have shown that there is a wealth of wonderful music of the period waiting to be recorded and this disc is just as good as any they have so far made. Moulu (whose name was completely new to me) is a thoroughly obscure figure from the early 1500s about whom almost nothing is now known but whose work was sufficiently well regarded by his contemporaries to have been included in several printed sources, so some at least has survived. And thank heavens it has, because the two masses, the motet and the responsory offered here are really fine and very beautiful works. They are enhanced here by Stephen Rice's excellent notes, which take the listener into the heart of the music's construction and show what wonderful feats of composition they are.
The singing of the Brabant Ensemble is excellent, as we have now come to expect. They are technically flawless and have a very good blend. Combined with rather a resonant acoustic this creates a full, rich sound in which every part is clearly audible but combines to make a very beautiful whole. They are now widely considered to be among the finest ensembles in this repertoire and they fully live up to that reputation on this disc.
Hyperion's recorded sound is (of course) excellent and the presentation very attractive. It's a cracking recording all round and I recommend it in the warmest terms.