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Name a chapel: which springs to mind? Sistine? King’s College? Maybe not Versailles, yet that may change for musicians, as the Royal Chapel is the venue for a terrific series of recordings of grand baroque (and other) music with royal connections on its own label. Cavalli Missa 1660 features the grand Venetian Mass commissioned by the French ambassador to celebrate the Treaty of Paris, ending hostilities between France and Spain and leading to the marriage of Louis XIV to the Spanish Infanta. Premiered in the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo, this feast of polychoral invention immerses the listener in a strutting, gilded world of power: ‘God is with us’ and ‘Might is right’. Here the Galilei Consort, directed by Benjamin Chénier, do it proud. Between the opening and closing fanfares, eight soloists, choir, orchestra of strings, brass and organ present almost 70 minutes of truly tremendous, nobly sonorous, utterly gripping exultation.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica


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