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Striggio: 40 Part Mass [CD/DVD Combo] CD+DVD
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The DVD includes a short documentary about the rediscovery of the mass, as well as excerpts from the recording in 5.1 Surround Sound.
"Beautifully performed by I Fagiolini with soloists and countless continuo parts, the polychoral effects are striking ... a masterpiece." -- The Guardian
"Its impact in this premiere recording by the voices and period instruments of I Fagiolini under Robert Hollingworth is terrific ... Tallis, in a healthy show of one-upmanship, devised much trickier part-writing for Spem in alium, as anyone who has sung it will know, but the two works complement one another perfectly." -- The Daily Telegraph
"Subtle and moving" -- The Observer
"There is nothing ordinary about a performance by I Fagiolini. These singers have made their reputation by turning their backs on convention." -- The Guardian
Top Customer Reviews
Robert Hollingworth has chosen to perform the works on this disc with some parts taken by voices and some by a range of contemporary instruments such as sackbuts, shawms and viols. He makes a convincing and interesting case for this in the excellent notes and the effect is remarkable, often creating a thrilling Renaissance Wall of Sound but also beautifully delicate and intimate in places. Striggio structures his mass very cleverly to allow these effects to offset each other and I thought the whole thing - both the large- and small-scale works - was fantastic. This use of instruments also sheds a fascinating new light on Tallis's wonderful Spem in alium and I found this version of it riveting.
Hollingworth has assembled a wonderful group of singers to augment the excellent I Fagiolini, many of whom are regular members of such outstanding ensembles as The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, Stile Antico and others. The instrumentalists are just as good, including members of Fretwork and other world-class period ensembles. They give an outstanding performance together; technically flawless and with a wonderful empathy for the music, they are powerful and delicate, passionate and tender as required and really bring this wonderful music to life.
The recorded sound is excellent, the presentation attractive and the notes very interesting. You also get a DVD which includes three surround-sound tracks and a video on the making of the CD. It's an excellent set all round and very warmly recommended.
The 16th century Italian musician Alessandro Striggio has not hitherto been widely known outside the Madrigal and Early Music fields. Thanks to new settings by Robert Hollingworth and Hugh Keyte of some of his choral work, and this recording, that may now change. Certainly, his role in setting the pattern for and inspiring Tallis's 40 part masterwork, Spem in alium, must now be acknowledged.
It seems that Striggio's own 40 part motet, Ecce beatem lucem (track 1 on both these discs) was written in about 1561. By 1566, he had adapted and extended its music and form for his mass, Ecco si beato giorno. That work, believed lost, was recovered in 2007 and now also features, in full, on this recording. It incorporates two Agnes dei settings and the second of those, concluding the mass, is even more remarkable in that, reflecting the practice of Italian madrigal publications of the time of increasing the number of voices from four to six for the last item, it has 60 separate parts.
In 1567, Striggio made a two-week visit to London, taking his musical scores with him and at least one of his 40 part works was performed. Tallis fairly certainly heard the performance - may even have participated in it - and by about 1570 had written his Spem in alium. Hollingworth and Keyte write that for Tallis Spem in alium was "simultaneously a tribute to Striggio and a determined effort to upstage him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got this as a gift a long time ago -- sorry about the delay. The recipient tells me it is REALLY GOOD!Published 19 months ago by Alabaman
My college-age son asked me to order this and LOVES it. I heard it being played, and it did sound terrific... 40 parts singing--- colossal!Published on February 4, 2013 by Media Professor
The group I Fagiolini is an amazing vocal ensemble. To hear 40-part Renaissance polyphony (other than Tallis' "Spem in alium") is just wonderful. I strongly recommend this CD. Read morePublished on July 30, 2012 by c john