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Striggio Mass in 40 Parts [CD+DVD]

I Fagiolini, Alessandro Striggio Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Price: £10.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Samuel Boden
  • Orchestra: I Fagiolini
  • Conductor: Robert Hollingworth
  • Composer: Alessandro Striggio, Vincenzo Galilei, Thomas Tallis
  • Audio CD (7 Mar 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B004EQ1424
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,641 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Ecce Beatem Lucem
2. Kyrie
3. Gloria
4. Credo
5. Sanctus
6. Benedictus
7. Agnus Dei I
8. Agnus Dei II
9. Contrapunto Secondo di B.M.
10. Fuggi, Spene Mia
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Ecce Beatem Lucem
2. Missa "Ecco Si Beata Giorno"
3. Spem in alium
4. Striggio Mass - Behind the Scenes Interviews

Product Description

CD Description

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)

Product Description

2CD I Fagiolini

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific disc 22 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
I think this is a terrific disc. A great deal of scholarship has gone into finding and editing the colossal mass by Striggio which is at its heart, the recording itself must have been a huge undertaking and the result fully justifies the work that has gone into it. The works on this disc are musically very fine and the performances are excellent, making the whole thing fascinating, beautiful and hugely enjoyable.

Robert Hollingworth has chosen to perform the works on this disc with some parts taken by voices and some by a range of contemporary instruments such as sackbuts, shawms and viols. He makes a convincing and interesting case for this in the excellent notes and the effect is remarkable, often creating a thrilling Renaissance Wall of Sound but also beautifully delicate and intimate in places. Striggio structures his mass very cleverly to allow these effects to offset each other and I thought the whole thing - both the large- and small-scale works - was fantastic. This use of instruments also sheds a fascinating new light on Tallis's wonderful Spem in alium and I found this version of it riveting.

Hollingworth has assembled a wonderful group of singers to augment the excellent I Fagiolini, many of whom are regular members of such outstanding ensembles as The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, Stile Antico and others. The instrumentalists are just as good, including members of Fretwork and other world-class period ensembles. They give an outstanding performance together; technically flawless and with a wonderful empathy for the music, they are powerful and delicate, passionate and tender as required and really bring this wonderful music to life.

The recorded sound is excellent, the presentation attractive and the notes very interesting. You also get a DVD which includes three surround-sound tracks and a video on the making of the CD. It's an excellent set all round and very warmly recommended.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spellbinding release - flawless 10 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
Every once in a while, a CD release comes along that is truly special; where much care has been taken in every aspect and, critically, the recording has managed to capture the occasion and its specialness. This is one such disc.

The variety is especially welcome. Not only do we have the large scale works, but the more intimate pieces as well. Much thought has evidently gone into the pieces represented (not just being some world firsts for the sake of it) as well as the colourful instrumentation.

The singing is not only first class - we have become accustomed to expect this from such forces these days - the singers actually "say something" and convey the meaning, even in the grander pieces which can so often sound a bit pedestrian from other groups.

Even if unfamiliar with the music and let's face it most buyers will be, do not be deterred. It is a hugely enjoyable disc with so much to commend it.

I am sure this will become a classic of its time, in the same way as Gothic Voices CD "A feather on the breath of God". In fact look at all the praise for that CD - it fits for this one too, admirably.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars choral and spiritual masterpiece 4 April 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First heard this piece at the proms last year when it was played for the first time since being found. Was knocked out by its power and beauty then. This is a worthy recording that, although lacking the intensity and excitement of the live concert, is still powerful and moving. Having Spem in Alium and other pieces in addition plus a DVD makes this a great value CD and a must have for those who love spiritual and choral music.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Striking Striggio in up to 40 and even 60 parts! 14 April 2011
Format:Audio CD
This recording has already received considerable critical acclaim. The musical public has also shown its enthusiasm since this release has topped the Classical Chart for at least two consecutive weeks and I believe that it is still in the top ten. Therefore, I need only record my absolute agreement with this acclaim.

I am prepared to go further. Although it is only April, I think that this recording should go straight on to the shortlist for an Early Music Award and also an Engineering Award for 2011. The whole production is excellent. In particular, the decision to accompany the stereo CD with a DVD containing a short film plus 5.1 channel surround sound recordings of the big 40- (and even 60-) part works was inspired.

I hope that people who generally shy away from early music will try this one - the vocal and instrumental sonorities are very impressive. Also, I hope that listeners who do not possess a surround sound system will be encouraged to buy one - the gain in effect is well-worthwhile.

Last but not least, Alessando Striggio emerges as a really interesting and impressive composer some of whose short, intimate works can also be heard here.
Finally, Tallis's iconic Spem in alium can be heard as most listeners will never have heard it before with instruments as well as voices.

Highly recommended without any reservations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute treasure trove 4 Jan 2012
Format:Audio CD
This two disc set, CD and DVD, represents the pinnacle of study and performance of Early Music. Everything is done to the highest standard, and the recording will surely provide for many years to come a tremendous asset for all with ears for instrumental and choral work from the late Renaissance period. Enormous credit to Decca for making this available to us.

The 16th century Italian musician Alessandro Striggio has not hitherto been widely known outside the Madrigal and Early Music fields. Thanks to new settings by Robert Hollingworth and Hugh Keyte of some of his choral work, and this recording, that may now change. Certainly, his role in setting the pattern for and inspiring Tallis's 40 part masterwork, Spem in alium, must now be acknowledged.

It seems that Striggio's own 40 part motet, Ecce beatem lucem (track 1 on both these discs) was written in about 1561. By 1566, he had adapted and extended its music and form for his mass, Ecco si beato giorno. That work, believed lost, was recovered in 2007 and now also features, in full, on this recording. It incorporates two Agnes dei settings and the second of those, concluding the mass, is even more remarkable in that, reflecting the practice of Italian madrigal publications of the time of increasing the number of voices from four to six for the last item, it has 60 separate parts.

In 1567, Striggio made a two-week visit to London, bringing his musical scores with him and at least one of his 40 part works was performed. Tallis fairly certainly heard the performance - may even have participated in it - and by about 1570 had written his Spem in alium. Hollingworth and Keyte write that for Tallis Spem in alium was "simultaneously a tribute to Striggio and a determined effort to upstage him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful performance
Not the least of the interest which this work generates is the story of the loss and fairly recent rediscovery of the manuscript in Paris. Read more
Published 1 month ago by youmike
1.0 out of 5 stars Factory-damaged discs! Twice!!
The other reviews praise the music, which I'd also like to do - but can't, because the cd and dvd arrived mechanically damaged (badly scratched) inside their pristine sealed... Read more
Published 2 months ago by rogerw
5.0 out of 5 stars A great listen
This mass is amazing, very stirring and uplifting. Very worthy of it's popularity and very well sung by all the parts.Highly recommended
Published 4 months ago by goldens
2.0 out of 5 stars Not surround sound
Wonderful performance of a great rediscovery. But, despite the fact that "DVD includes a short documentary about the rediscovery of the mass, as well as excerpts from the recording... Read more
Published 8 months ago by D. O. Cosgrove
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
If you love the Tallis - you will love this even more, what a great musical experience. I am hoping that an opportunity will come where I can perform it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by L. J. Hardy
5.0 out of 5 stars a hair-rising experience - and a love letter to Hollingworth (CD/DVD)
I've got my double set from Amazon USA this week and the CD is turning nearly 24/7. I bought this set because I had the great privilege of spending many a Summer School at... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kiki
1.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous music - daft discs
The music is marvellous and plenty of other people have written review so I'll not review the music but I will review the product as a whole. Read more
Published 14 months ago by L. E. May
5.0 out of 5 stars Mass in 40 parts
I had never heard of Alessandro Striggio and this Mass in 40 parts before. This is a really great piece of music. Congratulation to the Faggiolini. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Pascal
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing, stunning and beautiful
I have never heard of this composer before, but I love music from this period
This however stands out, stunning and breathtaking
Published on 2 Feb 2012 by Dave, Leeds
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm sure it's wonderful but......
I know the Striggio Mass in 40 parts will be wonderful as I heard it first at the Proms live on Radio 4 about 4? years ago. Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2011 by A Fisher
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