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There’s enervatingly under-energised singing from the soi disant semi-professional Collegium Musicum Amsterdam, as they drag themselves through Giaches de Wert, O mors, quam amara est, a muddily recorded exploration of his 1566 motets. This clearly competent choir deserves better direction and their potential is evident when De Wert comes close to Gesualdo in the achingly chromatic twists of Adesto dolori meo.

The Italian male-voice ensemble Odhecaton shows them how it’s done in three De Wert motets, including Adesto dolori meo, associated with the Mantuan court at the time of Monteverdi, featured alongside that composer’s Missa in illo tempore and the premiere recording of three gorgeous, recently discovered Marian motets, spaciously recorded in the Basilica di Santa Barbara in Mantua and using the original Antegnati organ: a wonderfully intelligent, revelatory programme, executed with élan.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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