2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Richafort: Requiem in memoriam Josquin Desprez (Audio CD)
I think this is a terrific disc. I was surprised by how much I liked it because I tried it mainly to compare it to last year's superlative recording of the Richafort Requiem by Cinquecento Richafort: Requiem (Hyperion: CDA67959) and expected it to sound rather mediocre by comparison. I was completely wrong; it's a different sort of performance but almost as good, in my view.
Richafort was a very fine composer and it is good to see this re-release (from 2002 originally) and other recordings giving him wider recognition. The Requiem is wonderful - based on Josquin's exquisite chanson Nymphes Nappées, it is beautiful, musically rich and deeply moving. There are also a number of lovely motets and a couple of chansons here (although not the Josquin, which is a mistake, I think). It makes for a lovely, quite varied programme.
The Huelgas Ensemble perform it brilliantly. They are a fairly large ensemble with sopranos taking top lines and recorded in a resonant acoustic, so the pitch is higher and the individual lines less distinct than with Cinquecento. However, they are beautifully balanced and blended and the overall effect is stunning with a beautiful wash of sound which never becomes blurred or messy, and they give true feeling to what they are singing. I find it enchanting and quite spellbinding in places, and it's exemplary work from a larger ensemble.
If I had to choose one recording of this Requiem, I'd probably still recommend Cinquecento, which I think was one of the very finest recordings of 2012. However, you can't go wrong here, especially at budget price. It's a terrific recording and wholeheartedly recommended.