Celebrating the rediscovery of a long-lost mass in forty parts - a feast of Renaissance choral music from Italy and England, the album (and bonus DVD) reveals a work by the Italian, Alessandro Striggio – believed lost until the recent discovery of vocal parts, in Paris. Striggio travelled extensively to the courts of Europe and it was probably a performance during his visit to Elizabethan England in 1567 that inspired Tallis to write "Spem in alium", which is performed here with rarely heard instrumental accompaniment and the benefit of a major piece of textual change reinforcing the message of forgiveness.
The DVD includes a short documentary about the rediscovery of the mass, as well as excerpts from the recording in 5.1 Surround Sound.
I Fagiolini is an acclaimed British solo-voice ensemble specialising in Renaissance and Contemporary music. Inspired programmer, Robert Hollingworth, founded the group in 1986.
“There is nothing ordinary about a performance by I Fagiolini. These singers have made their reputation by turning their backs on convention” (The Guardian
“Beautifully performed by I Fagiolini with soloists and countless continuo parts, the polychoral effects are striking ... a masterpiece.” (The Guardian
“Its impact in this premiere recording by the voices and period instruments of I Fagiolini under Robert Hollingworth is terrific ... Tallis, in a healthy show of one-upmanship, devised much trickier part-writing for Spem in alium, as anyone who has sung it will know, but the two works complement one another perfectly.” (The Daily Telegraph
“Subtle and moving” (The Observer
“A powerfully affecting landscape” (The Independent
“Enough to test anyone’s hi-fi equipment” (The Times
“40 voices hitting you beautifully left and right” (The Times