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The most rare discovery in the Marian Consort’s programme of Portuguese polyphony, Pater Peccavi is the wonderfully expressive music of Estêvão Lopes Morago, (born a Spaniard); but it is the gorgeous main work, Duarte Lobo’s Missa Veni Domine, that showcases the true home-grown talent of a master polyphonist. The singing is as bright-toned, accomplished and shapely as ever, with a delightful appreciation of ensemble, but, as so often with UK groups, it is inconsistent consonant production that betrays their northern European origins – should vocal ensembles take more time to consider how the subtleties of enunciation relating to the music’s source alters its soundscape? The performers are rescued from that ‘local enunciation’ trap in the next recording by being allowed to represent Italians away from home. The arrival of a new CD in The Sixteen’s Polish Baroque series is always a cause for celebration and Marcin Mielczewski is no exception. Close your eyes and you could be in Rome as the Missa O gloriosa domina dances into your ears with vocal and instrumental verve: charming, sunny and vivid, slightly dry recorded sound notwithstanding.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica


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