Harry Christophers / The Sixteen

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Vol. 2

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If only one word could describe this 2012 album by Harry Christophers and the Sixteen, it would have to be "pure," for it not only fits the profoundly consonant music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, but also the amazingly controlled and clean vocals of this astonishing choral group. The selection of six motets, the Missa Hodie Christus Natus Est, and the three excerpts from the Song of Songs are quintessential examples of Renaissance counterpoint, of which Palestrina was the supreme master, and the Sixteen's precise singing gives the polyphony the clarity of line and transparent harmonies that are required to make these sacred works glow. This is the second volume of the Sixteen's series of Palestrina's music on Coro, and it follows the format planned for each volume, presenting a mass and complementary motets. The reproduction is outstanding, capturing the ensemble with fine details and presence in the gloriously resonant acoustics of London's Church of St. Alban the Martyr.

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