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‘Never mind the quality, feel the width’ might describe the Tactus phenomenon: the Italian label busily releasing that nation’s myriad early music treasures at an extraordinary rate. Their featured instrumentalists range from good to exceptionally fine but their choirs can be disappointingly dismal. Here are three of their latest world premiere recordings…

Franciscan monk and composer Sisto Reina’s Armonia Ecclesiastica, published in 1653, features lovely music one longs to hear in more polished performances, though the soloists are accomplished and the student choir’s enthusiasm never in doubt. Secular music in the Spanish style Andrea Falconiere and Filippo Coppola includes instrumental tracks of irrepressible charm. Indifferent vocal soloists and a wince-inducing contribution from Bologna’s Coro Polifonico ‘Santo Spirito’ let the side down. Over to Venice and three Organ Masses by Giovanni Battista Fasolo: early Italian organ fans will relish the bright tones of the 16th-century instrument in Chiesa di San Domenico, Cortona, played with a magisterial brilliance by Luca Scandali – a virtuosity unmatched by male vocal soloists and choir singing chant with wayward pitch.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2017 - ©Rhinegold Publishing