Thursday, 9 August 2018

Juvenis & Brumel - Il Codici di Staffarda - Daltrocanto

Rating: 5/5

A vey fine recording

I like this disc very much. I tried it because of Brumel’s mass, but it is the setting of the Requiem by Engarandus Juvenis which is the real star of the programme.

I had never heard of Juvenis, and I am slightly relieved to discover that he is largely unknown elsewhere, too. The Staffarda Codex is the only source of his work and I am very glad that Daltrocanto have taken the trouble to seek out his Requiem and record it. Sung with countertenors in the top line, it has a fine, grave resonance and it is a lovely work of genuine beauty and solemnity which captured me from the start.

Brumel’s mass A l’ombre d’ung buissonet is a much less substantial work. I love his Missa Et ecce terrae motus but have never really enjoyed much of Brumel’s other work and this doesn’t do a lot to change that. This time sopranos take the top lines which adds to a slightly insubstantial feel and for me the mass doesn’t add up to a lot.

Daltrocanto’s performance is excellent, with impeccable tuning and balance, a lovely sense of line and a beautiful, warm overall sound. It’s very nicely recorded, too, and in spite of my slight reservations about the Brumel mass, this disc is well worth it for the Juvenis Requiem alone. I can recommend it very warmly.

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