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Carissimi’s collection of 28 extra-liturgical Arion Romanus motets may not all be his own work but it’s hard to tell the cuckoos from the genuine chicks here in Ensemble Seicentonovecento’s three-disc compilation. They’ve made Carissimi a particular mission, and it has taken a decade and sessions in three Roman churches to complete the project. The results are often very fine but, inevitably, interest waxes and wanes in the less polished performances. Disc 2 is particularly engaging and well recorded. ranging from one to five voices with various small instrumental ensembles, there is plenty of charm, expression and virtuosity. Maybe selecting the best for a single CD would have greater artistic impact, especially if the texts that one is advised to study in the notes but which weren’t actually present were included?

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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