Magazine article Gramophone

'Cantate Domino'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Cantate Domino'

Article excerpt

'Cantate Domino' Allegri Miserere mei, Deus Anerio Christus factus est Lassus Magnificat octavi toni. Jubilate Deo Palestrina Ad te levavi oculos meos. Nunc dimittis (attrib). Super flumina Babylonis. Improperium exspectavit cor meum. Adoramus te. Sicut cervus. Angelus Domini descendit de caelo. Constitues eos principes. Tu es Petrus Victoria Popule meus Sistine Chapel Choir / Massimo Palombella DG [F] 479 5300GH (59' * DDD * T/t)

The Sistine Chapel Choir celebrate their musical heritage through a selection of Renaissance sacred music recorded inside the Sistine Chapel. Their programme includes works by Palestrina, and Allegri's Miserere as preserved in the Sistine Codex of 1661. It is a beautifully recorded disc, as much a celebration of the building as of the music or the voices. They are a large ensemble, 30 ragazzi and 20 men with high tenors replacing falsettist-altos, and their performances favour low pitch, resulting in a richer timbre than English counterparts. At times they are reminiscent of Westminster Cathedral Choir under George Malcolm, but the trebles are more rounded.

The director, Monsignor Massimo Palombella, takes a unique approach to polyphony driven partly by the acoustic, which demands slower tempi than smaller professional ensembles favour, and partly through a quest for 'aesthetic relevance'. …

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