|2. Vox Patris Caelestis|
|6. Sanctus and Benedictus|
|7. Agnus Dei 1 and 2|
--Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli-
Written at least a generation prior to Allegri's Miserere, Palestrina's Mass for Pope Marcellus II is likewise a composition in search of the absolute and absolving God. Reacting to an overly ornate liturgy of the Roman Catholic church in the face of popular and growing Reformation types, Palestrina became a great champion for music that preserved both the grandeur of the liturgy as well as the accessibility of the message and language for the people. The lower vocals make the Mass a part of the people, rather than existing on high, inaccessible.
--William Mundy's Vox Patris caelestis-
Mundy's work is roughly contemporary with that of Palestrina (mid to late 1500s).
Allegri's "Miserere" is very well known in some excellent versions,featuring astonishingly poised boy trebles soaring effortlessly up to those goose-bump inducing high Cs.However,the version on this CD,is something quite apart and special from the norm,as it is a girl (the ethereal Alison Stamp) who takes and basks in the solo limelight.Also,the director of the Tallis Scholars,Peter Phillips,had the brilliant notion of seperating out the choir into two parts,and placing them at opposite ends of the recording venue of Merton College Chapel.Not only does this exploit the admirable acoustics of the building to the full,but it makes the piece come across almost like a dialogue between the "Earth" of the main choir and the "Heaven" of the solo group,who send up the high C like some kind of beautiful benediction on their brethren below.Lovely stuff,and as atmospheric a performance as I've ever come across of this little "miracle" in music.
Yet despite all that,I think that the stunning performance of Palestrina's gorgeous "Missa Papae Marcelli" may turn out to be the main reason that you will come to cherish this recording.From it's oh so sublime "Kyrie" to the soul-stirring raptures of that matchless "Sanctus" and two part "Agnus Dei",it is undoubtedly the most approachable and enchanting of all polyphonic settings of the Mass.... Read more ›
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