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This disc of accompanied French sacred music spans the late-19th to mid-20th centuries. Franck’s ever-popular Panis angelicus with a soprano soloist opens the programme and is repeated with a tenor soloist at the end, which seems unnecessary. The five Franck works lack subtlety in interpretation and incline towards the operatic. Ladmirault’s four Breton hymns have a rustic simplicity and pleasing charm, but it is Paul Berthier’s offertory Justorum animae in manu Dei that stands out, with its mixture of plainchant and modern sonorities. Jehan Alain’s Messe modale, delicately scored for soprano, alto, flute and strings, is French eloquence at its best. But the good instrumentalists are relegated to the background, and although these are capable singers, they don’t light any fires.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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