OVER the past 20 years, David Trendell has built up a student body of sound at Kings College London that now must rank itself among the best university chapel choirs in the UK. The timbre is fresh, fruity and vibrant, the young voices issuing a quality of a cappella ensemble that combines Italianate ruggedness with English smoothness, a fusion that is the perfect vehicle for the wholesome Allegri Masses, Motets, and famous Miserere on this disc. The Miserere is cast in sturdy, perfectly intoned fashion, but more intriguing are the delicious eight-part Missa In lecturo meo and Missa Christus resurgens, together with their derivative motets, richly moulded with silken polyphony and antiphonal drama. **** --KENNETH WALTON, The Scotsman, 14 May 2012
Gregorio Allegri deserves better than for his reputation to rest on just one piece; alongside his iconic 'Miserere', which never fails to cast its spell on listeners, The Choir of Kings College London present premiere recordings of two of his five surviving Masses: 'Missa in Lectulo Meo Missa' and 'Christus Resurgens Miserere'. Richly-wrought with consummate skill in the prima prattica of Palestrina, these glowing performances shed new light on a much-loved composer. Born in 1582, Allegri, an Italian priest, singer, and composer in the stile antico tradition, spent much of his life working in Roman churches, joining the papal choir in 1629 and eventually becoming its choirmaster. But it is for the 'Miserere' that he is best known: a work so powerful that Mozart is thought to have written out the full score after hearing it only once, allowing him to circumnavigate the rule that prohibited anyone from removing any parts of the score from the Sistine Chapel, where it was guarded. Much in demand as a choral conductor, David Trendell has been College Organist and Lecturer in Music at King's since 1992, when he established the Chapel Choir. Now considered one of the finest mixed-voice university choirs in the country, performing music from the 14th century to the present day, the 25 choral scholars and two organ scholars bring great musical intensity to Allegri's music in these luminous performances. Trendell's scholarly acumen is also brought to bear with his own edition of 'Missa In lectulo meo' performed here for the first time since the early 17th century.