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American Record Guide: (11/2017) 
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Reviewer: Charles Brewer


In a number of respects this collection of six-voice motets by Tomas Luis de Victoria was made for the six members of Nordic Voices. The contents are taken from Victoria’s first two collections of motets, published in 1572 and 1576. The only later work is his ‘Vexilla Regis’ (1585), which was subtitled “more hispano” (in the Spanish style). These motets were written  in Rome while at the Collegium Germanicum, before Victoria returned to Spain in 1587. They range from ‘Quem vidistis, pastores’ for Christmas, through the evocative ‘Nigra sum sed formosa’ from the Song of Songs, and the Marian lament, ‘Vadam et circuibo civitatem’.

I cannot find a similar recording for all of these motets, though they have  appeared individually on other collections of Victoria’s music. This new release takes great advantage of the rich acoustic in the Ris Kirke in Oslo. Rather remarkable is that the six solo voices never sound thin, but consistently resonant and clear, and each part is clearly heard and balanced with the others. I concur with the earlier reviews by Loewen and Gatens of similar renaissance collections by Nordic Voices (J/F 2008: 206 & M/A 2010: 222). Mr Gatens wrote that “these six singers are evidently so accustomed to singing together that their combination is like a single highly disciplined instrument” and that their sound is “warmly expressive”, which he contrasted with choirs that cultivate “a dispassionate style”. Loewen wrote about “the joy of hearing the singers do it again”. The artistry of this ensemble has only improved with age.

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