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Saturated with intense sound detail and individual, even gritty, vocal colour, the limited edition, world premiere recording of four contrasted masses by Matthaeus Pipelare is revelatory if flawed. This double CD features four Mass settings sung by the male-voice consort The Sound and the Fury, weaving their way through crafty counterpoint with an eventful range of expression. They call Pipelare ‘wilfully individual’ in the frustratingly minimal liner notes and might as well be describing themselves as moments of temperamental disunity and unorthodox vocal production challenge the ear. Peculiar sounds from the uppermost voice in the extraordinary Missa l’homme armé, for example, distract and detract. nevertheless, there’s much to enjoy here in works of great originality and curiously compelling performances.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica


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