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This is Mendelssohn not so much ‘Bach reborn’ (which is what Liszt said), but rather as the stepchild of Palestrina. The op.39 motets all come out of that lineage, with latter-day shadings which are perhaps over-emphasised here – a drier reading would have helped. The best-known item is, of course, ‘O, for the wings of a dove’, which is embedded in Hear My Prayer and always benefits from the context. The girls’ voices are nicely balanced and plainly recorded, and it’s a typically generous if slightly unstructured sampling of a lesser-known side of the composer’s work.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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