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Forget playfulness, here is guilty pleasure in solemnity as the voices of Stile Antico address themselves to Victoria’s Tenebrae Responsories. Their impressive appreciation of the text combines with sensitively shaped phrasing, sostenuto and balance in admirable, richly toned British choral singing, so it may be churlish of me to wish for a more unbuttoned Iberian sound. Hopping over the border into Portugal finds a marvellous home-grown ensemble of voices and instruments, Cappella Santae Crucis, exploring with élan the musical treasury of the Monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra c.1650 in Zuguambé. These hitherto unpublished works by unknown composers are exciting, revelatory and engaging – a wonderful sonic adventure, captured with breadth and clarity in deliciously large acoustics.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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