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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

on 7 November 2014
excellent recording with wonderful acoustics recorded in a church in London at Norwood. This is a modern recording with a fine detailed sound in H.D Audio on this Blu-ray disc but it only in stereo it would work very well in 5.1 SOUND but still exelent value at under £9
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on 11 September 2015
easy listen very good
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on 29 June 2014
Interesting, but less than gripping. I'd hoped for something as overwhelming as the Striggio from the same source, but was still waiting at the end for even a moment of that quality. But, on the other hand, not bad, and I did learn.
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on 5 May 2014
The information relating to this disc was very scant, that is no fault of the seller, UMG seem to provide little detailed information about their Pure Audio releases. I had hoped and expected this to be available in 5.1 surround sound. I was hugely disappointed to find it is only in stereo. It's crazy to release music like this, which is made for a surround sound experience in stereo only. I suggests that UMG really aren't up to the job and have no real idea what they are doing with these Pure Audio releases. As a format I dislike it anyway, hybrid SACD is much better as the disc can be played in any CD player while the SACD offers high quality surround at the price usually of a CD, not as expensive as this disc and certainly representing better value.
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on 17 December 2014
unusual sounds
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on 14 June 2012
Firstly I have to declare an interest. This was recorded in St John's, Upper Norwood near Crystal Place in London and not some Italian Cathedral but we are firmly of the High Church, Anglo-Catholic tradition and the bell at the start of the first track is screwed to the wall outside the vestry and rung at the beginning of every mass so absolutely authentic. We have a strong musical tradition and the building seems to impart a certain magic which my choir are lucky enough to experience week by week, but which is gradually being discovered by others making recordings. The recent Florilegium CD of Vivaldi works was recorded here and I Flagiolini's work similarly benefits from a resonance and clarity often lacking in larger cathedrals.

Robert Hollingworth rarely seems to take the easy options and whilst you will find the usual suspects in Gabrieli and Monteverdi, there is also a revelation in Ludovico Viadana. He will be familiar to many church choirs as being the composer of the Missa L'hora Passa but his works here are more than on a par with the aforementioned masters of polyphony. Speaking of Gabrieli, the Magnificat is a reconstruction of a work for seven choirs - 28 parts vocal and instrumental including bells and a cannon!

This is an excellent recording that reveals new dimensions with each hearing. The programme is well chosen and has a variety of musical textures (plainsong, chamber organ, instrumental and choral works) to transport you back in time. Hollingworth avoids the temptation to simply create endless walls of vocal sound (initially impressive but tiring after a while) by creating each choir as a mixture of vocalists and instruments and also by varying the composition of the instrumental groups. It's a great achievement and the microsite -[...] is well worth a visit for more information.

If you bought the previous Striggio CD, you'll have an idea of what to expect but this is far superior in my view. If you like early music and period instruments, you'll definitely need this in your collection.
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on 10 June 2012
Last year, Robert Hollingworth and I Fagiolini caused a sensation with their recording of Striggio's 40 part motet and mass, which not only appeared in the general best seller charts, but also won a number of international awards. Now he follows it with more large scale 17th century works, unfamiliar to me and,I suspect, many others. Once again we experience the full " wall of sound" in a stunning recording, including some previously unrecorded works. Everyone I have played this to, from professional church musicians to my heavy-metal-loving son, has been blown away, and very moved, by this. If you are hesitating about trying something unfamiliar, don't! Give it a try; you'll love it!
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on 10 December 2012
Coming after the wonderful Striggio 40 part mass, expectations were high. The Italian Vespers did not disappoint. Ranging from sheer beauty to noisy battle scenes one was immersed in a range of emotions. Had the opportunity to enjoy snippets of this CD programme at the 2012 Proms and I Fagiolini continue to push the boundaries in well researched historical performance - as well as cutting edge new productions.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 July 2016
I saw I Fagiolini (billed here as a “maverick ensemble”) a number of years ago performing a very effective show (I can think of no more appropriate word) “The Full Monteverdi”; it was quite stunning. The word “maverick” seems somehow inappropriate here, as the items featured on this 2012 recording are backed up by extensive scholarly research (the erudite sleeve notes by Hugh Keyte are essential reading) and not only feature two world premiere recordings (Giovanni Gabrieli’s 28-voice Magnificat) and Lodovico Grossi da Viadana’s four-choir Vesper Psalms, but also marks the 400th anniversary of Gabrieli’s death and the publication of Viadana’s Vespers.

The CD gives us a reconstruction of the Second Vespers of the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, originally held to commemorate 1571’s Battle of Lepanto, which marked the victory of Christendom over the infidel Turk. Some of the composers featured will be familiar to most listeners (Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, Palestrina and Monteverdi), others less familiar (Viadana, Barbarino and Soriano), but all of the music is absolutely glorious and the recorded sound is spectacular to say the least.

Gabrieli’s 28-part Magnificat is monumental in its construction and electrifying in its performance here; this is a major discovery, as are Viadana’s Vesper Psalms, with their expressive melodies and dramatic declamation by endlessly varied vocal groupings.

The performances by I Fagiolini are nothing less than superb; all credit to the singers and their director Robert Hollingsworth. This is a must-buy purchase.
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on 10 June 2012
Whether you just want to lie back and bathe in the gorgeous sound - after all the English are supposed to like the sound music makes! - or you want to thrill at the intricacy and sheer genius of the multi-part writing, or enjoy the great crafstmanship of all the singers and musicians, this is a must-have recording. The last I Fagiolini disk was stunning, and justly won a Gramophone award. This is so much better - in this Jubilee year, Robert Hollingworth deserves a knighthood for services to this wonderful music. Buy now, all ye people, and enjoy every minute.
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