This new release is somewhat mistitled: while most of the pieces are, in fact, from the Renaissance (or early Baroque), there are works here also by Samuel Barber, Poulenc, John Tavener, Bruckne,r and Gorecki. What they all have in common is their beauty and serenity. Perhaps the CDs subtitle, "Music for Inner Peace," also refers to a type of renaissance, i.e., spiritual re-birth: in which case, they're right on the money. The Sixteen, led by Harry Christophers, is one of the greatest proponents of this sort of choral music in the world, and they don't disappoint here: The Allegri "Miserere," with its wickedly beautiful ascent to high C by soprano soloist, is ravishing; Barber's own arrangement of his "Adagio for strings" for chorus (1967) is polyphony at its most "renaissance" without actually being so, and Gorecki's "Totos Tuus" is otherworldly in it mysticism. The selections by Byrd, Tomkins, et al., are, like the others, impeccably performed. Even an early piece by contemporary composer John Tavener, normally the master of excruciatingly pretentiousness, is lovely. This recording is a gem. --Robert Levine
Renaissance--Music for Inner Peace
is a beautiful collection of music for revival and relaxation from across five centuries. Featured in this selective collection are the sublime "Agnus Dei", by Barber, "Miserere" by Allegri, "If Ye Love Me" by Tallis and many more.