3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Early music masterpiece,
This review is from: Striggio Mass in 40 Parts (Audio CD)
I am not a musician myself but I occasionally promote classical music concerts, in the course of which I have been privileged to hear many outstanding works, and have developed a particular penchant for repertoire from the Early and Baroque periods. Of the former of these, a firm favourite for many years has been the Tallis 40-part motet "Spem In Alium" which has been widely regarded as outshining in concept and technicality Striggio's own 40-part motet. However, the discovery in recent years of Striggio's Mass in 40-parts has surely been a true revelation of this composer's genius, and this recording by Robert Hollingworth and I Fagiolini is utterly sumptuous. The use of an extended ensemble of period instruments was an inspired decision by Hollingworth, and adds greatly to the enjoyment of the piece. As Hollingworth rightly points out, "Missa Ecco Si Beato Giono" should not be compared side-by-side with Tallis's "Spem" - though it may be tempting to do so - as the two works are of different compositional approach, and it is therefore useful to have a performance of "Spem" alongside the Striggio on this CD. However for my taste, it ("Spem") would have been more acceptable sung a cappella as the instrumental accompaniment served rather to blur the impact of this piece and the thrilling and intricate tapestry of the 40 voices was somewhat lost as a result. The accompanying DVD however is excellent, and the chance to look in at the recording session of the Striggio Mass was fascinating. Decca has produced an excellent product and despite my slight despite disappointment with the Tallis rendition, I would heartily recommend it without any reservations.