Thursday, 22 February 2018

Josquin - The Spirit Like A Dove - Apollo5, Ingenium

Rating: 5/5

A very fine disc

I think this is a very fine disc.  The music is wonderful and it is very well sung.

The music is a parody mass based on Richafort's motet Quem dicunt homines, possibly by Josquin, and Factum est autem which is an undisputed Josquin motet.  Whatever their authorship, both are truly lovely works.

The singing is excellent, with faultless intonation, very nice balance and blend, and a  lovely fluency of line.  The singers bring out all the depth and spirituality in the text and the overall sound is lovely.  There's a resonant (but not over-resonant) acoustic which makes the basses in particular really ring, perhaps at the cost of a little distinctness of individual parts sometimes, but that's fine with me.  It's wonderfully beautiful and just a pleasure to listen to.

The notes by David Wyatt are very interesting.  He makes some very good points about the methodology used to try to authenticate works attributed to Josquin and presents a very plausible case to consider this mass as authentic.  I am not qualified to pronounce on the matter, but to my ears it's certainly good enough to have been written by him.

In short, this is a very fine release all round, which  can recommend very warmly.

Friday, 16 February 2018

de Visée - Pieces de Theorbe - Moreno

Rating: 5/5


This is an excellent disc.  I like many of Jose Miguel Moreno's recordings very much, but this is probably my favourite.

Robert de Visée was active in the late 17th and early 18th Centuries and his music is full of very engaging baroque rhythms and counterpoint.  Many of his works are suites of dances (two of which are included here) and they are all thoroughly enjoyable while having genuine intellectual weight.

Moreno plays them superbly.  He has the excellence of technique to make this sometimes very demanding music sound quite natural, and a beautiful tone to his theorbo.  He judges the rhythmic freedom excellently, bringing shape and feeling to the music while never straying into over-romantic gestures.  It's exemplary playing, I think.

If you like the theorbo, lute music in general or just enjoyable, well-played music, don't hesitate.  This is terrific and very warmly recommended.