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This excellently executed CD takes as its premise musician and writer Johann Friedrich Reichardt’s visit to Italy in 1783. Reichardt returned to his native Germany with a copy of Benevoli’s Missa ‘In diluvio aquarum multarum’, here given its world premiere recording. Conceived for 16 parts (four 4-part choirs), Benevoli’s work, which recalls the spatial effects of Monteverdi as well as the sooth- ing tenderness of Palestrina, immediately fired up Carl Friedrich Christina Fasch, who produced his own 16-voice Mass, the difficulty of which required him to assemble his own ensemble – the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. A later member of the Akademie, Mendelssohn, sang these pieces as a boy and they became the inspi- ration for his own rarely heard 16-part motet Hora est of 1828. Philipp Ahmann draws the best from the glorious NDR Choir in this wholly engrossing disc. Excellent soloists step out of the choir.

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