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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performance and superb SACD, 16 Nov 2012
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Mr. C. G. Veitch (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Striggio: Mass for 40 and 60 Voices (Audio CD)
This is gorgeous music superbly performed and brought to life in this beautifully recorded surround sound SACD. The Surround Sound Hybrid SACD allows the listener to hear the music as it should be heard, surrounded by the choirs you can hear much more of the parts that make the whole, it becomes a much more immersive and engaging listening experience than listening in Stereo. I much prefer this to Decca's release of the work for the fact the SACD surround sound delivers a more satisfying sound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best recording of Striggio's mass, 28 Mar 2013
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Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Striggio: Mass for 40 and 60 Voices (Audio CD)
This is a good disc but not a great one, I think. Striggio's Missa Ecco si beato giorno is a colossal, inspiring work reconstructed in 2007 by Davitt Moroney and brought to prominence by the fabulous recording by Robert Hollingworth with I Fagiolini. Here, Niquet uses an earlier edition by Dominique Visse, carefully and thoughtfully augmented by instrumentation as it might have been used at the time.

This performance of the mass is set in the context of a Florintine service for St John The Baptist as it might have been celebrated in the mid 16th Century. As Paul McCreesh has shown us, these reconstructions can be extremely effective, but if they are to be so the liturgical music surrounding the main work also needs to be of the highest quality. One of this disc's weaknesses is that some most certainly isn't, and indeed has only a dubious claim to inclusion on such a reconstruction. Orazio Benevoli's setting of the Magnificat, for example, may be contemporary but is to my ears a rather uninspiring work and (as I understand it) makes little liturgical sense in the middle of a mass. The same can be said of a lot of the other works here and they detract from rather than enhance Striggio's mighty mass setting.

The performance of the mass itself is very good, and brings out its nuances and variations very well. Personally, I find the very churchy acoustic and slightly romantic sounding phrasing not quite to my taste, but that's definitely a personal thing and many listeners will love these aspects of the recording.

I can only give this disc a qualified recommendation. For me, it isn't as good as the Hollingworth recording, which I would recommend unreservedly over this one Striggio: 40 Part Mass. However, for Niquet and his ensemble at their magnificent best I would highly recommend their mighty and hugely enjoyable disc of Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks which is an unalloyed pleasure Handel: Water Music & Fireworks (Le Concert Spirituel / Herve Niquet).
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Striggio: Mass for 40 and 60 Voices
Striggio: Mass for 40 and 60 Voices by Hervé Niquet (Audio CD - 2012)
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