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Based around a new edition of Lobo’s Missa Prudentes virgines by Bruno Turner, Ensemble Plus Ultra presents another fine programme of Spanish renaissance polyphony best described as somewhere between transcendental and ethereal. Singing with just one voice per part, the ensemble creates a rich, blended sound spiced with crystal clear diction.

As so often with these Spanish programmes, it is Morales who steals the show. His extraordinarily inventive setting of Clamabat autem mulier Chananea has the woman of Canaan crying out to her Lord in short overlapping soprano phrases like jets of a fountain. And it is just these sorts of madrigalian features, sung with such exquisite subtly, that showcase the beautiful vocal timbres of Grace Davidson, Julie Cooper and Clare Wilkinson. Likewise, the canonic Hosanna sections of Lobo’s mass are given similar sparkling treatment by a five voice line-up. Elsewhere, the still textures of the two motets by Alonso de Tejeda are particularly charming, where long phrases and mournful texts are skillfully navigated.

Edward Breen Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing