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This CD is bookended with relaxed accounts of Salvator mundi and If ye love me by Tallis, which neatly set, and bid farewell to, the tone of this disc. Purcell’s Funeral Sentences are just that, rather than expressly Passiontide music, but their mood fits. Erny and his Zurich Chamber Singers do not have the measure of this most expressive music from 1695, and their reading is too perfunctory and bland for Purcell’s harmonic genius. Their Bach Jesu, meine Freude is fleet-footed and with nicely delivered divisions, though occasionally a little quirky in delivery and not helped by the rather muddy recorded sound. Their performance of Kevin Harnett’s De profundis (2016) is the most convincing performance on the disc and it is immediately clear that the choir is right inside this music, which they commissioned and have lived with. At less than 45 minutes’ music, the CD is poor value in terms of duration.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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