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For some cathartic tears, indulge in some rare Passiontide repertoire from Francisco Xavier García Fajer and José Joaquim dos Santos. Passio Iberica features Divino Sospiro directed by Massimo Mazzeo in Spanish and Portuguese works for Holy Week from the latter 18th century. Fajer’s The Seven Last Words of Christ (sung in Castilian) for a pair of high voices is left agonisingly hanging at the end with the last, devastating statement from unaccompanied soprano. The Stabat Mater by Santos features three technically impressive, emotionally sensitive, expert solo voices (SSB) working splendidly together and apart, plus a small string band, here providing a spiny-toned depth of expression that enhances the immediacy and almost palpable presence of the recording.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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