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American Record Guide: (03/2019) 
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Reviewer: Charles Brewer

Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650) is among the Portuguese composers who combined the contrapuntal techniques of the late Renaissance with the expressivity of the early Baroque. This is evident from the beginning of this new release with Cardoso’s setting of the second Lesson from the Lamentations of Jeremiah for Maundy Thursday and two responsories from the same service.


This new release is apparently the first of Cardoso’s Missa pro Defunctis for four voices; the earlier recordings were of his six-voice setting (Tallis Scholars, M/A 1991 & J/F 2006: 263; O xford Schola Cantorum, Naxos 550682). Both Cardoso’s six-voice setting and the well-known Victoria Requiem include an extra treble voice above the treble part which paraphrases the original chant, which then becomes subsumed in an intricate web of polyphony. The chant in the

opening movements of Cardoso’s four-voice setting is in the treble, and the remaining three lower voices are clearly supporting it. In the Gradual, the chant moves to the tenor (also indicated by placing the chant intonation in the tenor part book), but the remaining movements of the four-voice setting treat the chant with increasing freedom.


This recording also includes Cardoso’s alternatim ‘Magnificat secundi toni’ along with a selection of motets for Advent and Lent, which along with the Maundy Thursday selections and the Requiem create a reflective tone for the entire recording. This is effectively captured in the performance by the 10-voice choir from Portugal, Cupertinos, and in Toscano’s sensitive and engaging interpretation. There are so few other recordings of Cardoso (J/A 1997; J/F 2006); this one should definitely be added to the shelf.

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