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Bruckner’s short, sacred motets have been overshadowed by his symphonies and Masses, so it is good to have 15 of them performed here in chronological order. Starting with the early Pange lingua written at the age of 11, the early works, sounding like chorale harmonisations, are nevertheless the composer’s own melodies. Forming the centrepiece of his motet compositions is Ave Maria, Locus iste, Tota pulchra es, Os justi and Christus factus est. As the composer matured, so did his harmonisations, yet they still retained a touching sense of simplicity. To bring this off successfully requires finely graded, controlled singing with sensitive phrasing, the well-blended Musica Saeculorum under Philipp von Steinaecker

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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