Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:


International Record Review - (01/2013)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code-barres / Barcode: 0034571179575 (ID268)
Consultez toutes les évaluations recensées pour ce cd ~~~~ Reach all the evaluations located for this CD

Reviewer:  Marc Rochester

Warmth and opulence permeate every pore of this deeply attractive and strangely compelling recording. So beautifully blended are the collective forces of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, Concerto Palatino and Ex Cathedra that it is surprisingly difficult to tell where the voices leave off and the brass join in. The very first track on the disc, for example, the ten-part Vox Domini super aquas Jordanis, ends with a setting of ‘Alleluia’ full of characteristic little brass flourishes, which, delivered with consummate precision by these outstanding cornettists, are then passed over to the singers, who articulate them with every bit as much clarity and delicacy.

Jeffrey Skidmore, writing a brief introductory note, suggests that his intentions in making this disc of Gabrieli’s music were ‘shedding new light and enabling his work to be reassessed with fresh ears’. Yet not everything here is entirely unfamiliar to those with even a passing knowledge of Gabrieli’s output. That great classic In ecclesiis appears in a charmingly affectionate performance highlighting some delectable solo voices. Whether this fresh-faced and immaculately coiffeured singing would accord with the kind of thing Gabrieli would have heard from the forces at his disposal is another matter, but by presenting this fabulous music with such sweetness and charm, it undoubtedly sheds a new and entirely attractive light on it.

The principal booklet note comes from John Whenham , who sets the scene quite magically while at the same time presenting some very valuable insights into Gabrieli and his work at St Mark’s, Venice. The choice of music certainly amply fulfils Skidmore’s stated intention of exploring ‘as wide a range . . . as possible in the space of a single album’, and it is good to have the extraordinary 17-part setting of Exultet iam angelica turba , which is not technically one of Gabrieli’s Sacrae symphoniae, in place of the 14-part version, which is.

Birmingham-based Ex Cathedra has been a noted player in the British choral music scene for over four decades — I still have a wrinkled home-made cassette taken from an early Choral Evensong broadcast it made for the BBC in the 1970s — and in that time it has gravitated increasingly towards Early Music, standing now as one of the most notable choral groups specializing in this area. Certainly this disc reveals an exceptionally high level of both accomplishment and expertise, and if a single track had to be singled out to show just how at ease the singers are in this repertoire, I would point straight to the magnificent Magnificat which positively crackles with high-voltage intensity as the music passes rapidly between the three choirs. Again, excellent solo voices emerge from the texture with a wholly natural ease, while Skidmore drives it along with considerable verve and energy. That every word is articulated with pristine clarity almost goes without saying.

Joining, rather than supporting it, are the combined forces of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts and Concerto Palatino, ten players in all, whose collective sound is cleaner and more direct than we might usually expect from a group of period brass players, and whose playing shows a mixture of discretion and sensitivity rare in even the most polished of modern-day brass ensembles. This is altogether a superb disc, which, while serving the cause of Gabrieli admirably, also reveals the best in British-based Early Music performing. 
Fermer la fenêtre/Close window


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews