The cds come in a strong and beautiful box with the shape of a book.
There are two books inside the box: The first one has an introductory text in French. English, German and Dutch. It also has a detailed tracking list.
The second one contains the eight cds and a short track listing, which is a little confusing because when you open the book you see on one side a
track listing and on the other side a cd but that track listing actually refers to the previous cd.
The quality of the sound seems very good to me but I am not an expert.
Both books are beautifully presented and have plenty of informative and beautiful illustrations.
There is an excellent surprise: This time, Ricercar supplied the texts for the songs. The box set has a link to the website where you can download the texts.
I've already downloaded them as pdf and it is not just an ordinary sequence of texts. Texts for the songs are beautifully illustrated, use a very nice font and are in English, German and French.
I used the word "beautiful" several times to describe this box set. Let me use it once more, for the last time: Beautiful!
I am listening now to cd 5, which has Allegri's "Miserere" performed by The Tallis Scholars.
It is an extremely beautiful song and the fact that I can follow its text makes for a more complete experience.
I really liked this version of "Miserere". It sounds more natural and somehow less "pompous".
I was raised in a Christian religion but today I am atheist to the bones. Despite of that, listening to this "Miserere" makes me feel as if I was in an old church, hundreds of years ago, asking God to " clean my heart" and "have mercy upon me".
Two lists here: One with some of the performers. The second one is a brief list of the cd's contents. I could only find it in French. Sorry about that.
Tallis Scholars, Maria Cristina Kiehr, Vox Luminis, Les Sacqueboutiers, Capilla Flamenca, Ricercar Consort, Les Pages et les Chantres, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe, Bernard Foccroulle, Le Poeme Harmonique, Vincent Dumestre, Claudio Cavina.
1 : La réforme luthérienne
2 : La réforme dans les pays nordiques
3 : Calvin et la réforme en france
1 : La réforme anglicane
2 : L'angleterre, de la république de cromwell à la restauration
1 : L'accueil de la réforme dans les pays bas
2 : La france jusqu'à la révocation de l'édit de Nantes
1 : La contre-réforme
1 : L'italie après la contre-réforme
1 : L'allemagne de schütz à bach : la place du choral protestant
2 : Les influences italiennes
3 : En allemagne, de schütz à bach : les premiers oraorios allemands
1 : Les cantates
2 : Epilogue