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With this much awaited (well, by me anyway) new release, The Sound and the Fury commit to disc two of Ockeghem's lesser recorded masses. We already have a Missa Mi-Mi from the Hilliard Ensemble which to me was less than satisfactory; a version by the Clerks' Group would undoubtedly be of a high standard if we could actually get hold of it, several of their Ockeghem discs being out of production and possibly even deleted from the catalogue. The Missa Ecce Ancilla Domini does exist in a hard-to-obtain Clerks' recording, but as their first ever recording it doesn't quite hit the height of their later material.

The ensemble here is composed of countertenor David Erler, tenor John Potter and basses Colin Mason and Richard Wistreich, and the recording is as always live. They always give us a fresh perspective on the performance of Renaissance polyphony, the sound very immediate and with the very distinct character of each voice allowed to come forth even in their interplay.

The digipak contains some very brief notes on the foldout - unlike earlier releases there is no additional booklet. The disc however does contains three PDF files - Latin text and English/German translations of the Ordinaries of the Mass, plus facsimiles of handwritten scores for the two masses prepared by Jaap van Benthem. A nice addition - though obviously a proper 'printed' version would be better - and wouldn't it be good if all Renaissance music CDs did this? It's really just unacceptable though that this series of discs by The Sound and the Fury is both hard to get hold of and darn expensive. They really deserve to be more widely heard.
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