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For greater richness of male voices and brilliant trebles, look no further than the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and volume five of their Eton Choirbook survey, which truly lives up to its name, The Gate of Glory. Magnificent, powerful singing and majestic interpretations sweep the listener aloft on wings of devotional power feature in works by Kellyk, Browne, Fayrfax, Lambe (the premiere recording of his Gaude flore Virginali), and the curiously named Robert Hacomplaynt. After that glitteringly bright treble uplift, the softer glow of the Brabant Ensemble with Jacob Obrecht illuminates a more introspective spirituality within the subtle, sombre sonorities of Missa Grecorum and various motets. As ever with this group, fine scholarship is a given and their approach to rare repertoire appears never dryly perfected by over-acquaintance.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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