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In choral music, passion is usually singular and capitalised as Christ’s sacrifice. Les Cris de Paris, the hippest choir on the scene, have played respectfully but imaginatively with that expectation, weaving together a sequence of four-, eight- and sixteen-voice Crucifixus themes by Monteverdi and, less familiarly, Lotti and Caldara, with vernacular themes of the same high Venetian period. The singing is, as ever, bold and dramatic, but always accurate, and the sequence, which begins with a strange lullaby and whose vocal part ends with Monteverdi’s È questa vita un lampo – ‘This life is (just) a bolt of lightning’ – serves as a reminder that Calvary was also a strange kind of holiday for the populace, a day for the affetti as well as for the Passion.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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