I was looking forward to hearing Quartom who are a new ensemble to me. They make a very lovely sound, but overall I was rather disappointed in this disc.
The programme is of motets and antiphons by Palestrina, interspersed with plainchant. It is very beautiful music, which Quartom sing with skill and impeccable intonation. However, there is very little engagement with the texts (it may be significant that no texts are provided in the booklet) and there is a sameness of tone and sound which becomes rather cloying. Sometimes it is simply inappropriate – the celebratory words Hodie Christus natus est have rather a lugubrious air, for example – but often it’s just a bit bland. The same can be said of the plainchant, which to me needed a good deal more muscularity at times.
For me this is a bit of a waste of what is plainly a talented quartet of singers, sounding more as though it is aimed at a commercial chill-out market rather than a real attempt to bring the music to life. I’m sorry to be critical, but in the end I found much of Renaissance rather bland and dull, for all it’s beauty of sound, and I can only give it a very qualified recommendation.