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These two works are fine examples of 16th-century polyphony. Born in Jena, Johannes Heroldt wrote his Matthäuspassion for six voices in 1594. For his text he possibly used summa Passionis by French composer A. de Longueval. Based on the Gospel of St Matthew, this text focuses only on the main characters and the most relevant parts of the Passion. It’s performed without pause by the radiant six voices of Ensemble Triagonale, who relate to every nuance of the text. Venetian Teodoro Clinio’s Passion was written a year later, in 1595. The words of the Evangelist, from St John’s Gospel, are set in the musical tone traditionally used in the monadic Lesson. Unlike the Bach Passions, the words of Christ are set for three voices, and those of Peter, Pilate and the other characters for four voices; the choral commentary of the turbae has a six-part setting. This unaccompanied work flows continuously and is exquisitely performed by this very talented group.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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