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Pellegrino Santucci, who only died in 2010, dedicated one album of Gregorian chants arranged for organ ‘To the gravediggers of Sacred Music’. Born in 1921, he believed that the great traditions of church singing had been not just lost but despoiled, and he devoted himself to reviving them. There is a tremendous amount of music here, some of it little known outside Italy, but sung with a rapt and at times almost mesmerising quality by the various forces involved. The Ave Maria features predictably often, and the whole set is prefaced by a delightful Vita de Maria for flute and organ. Santucci wrote particularly beautifully for female voices, and his two-part Sub tuum praesidium is the track to sample or to play for a sceptical friend who might not otherwise relish three-and-a-quarter hours of intense Italian sacred music. Quite beautiful.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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