For fans of the pomp and majesty of royalty, here's a collection of music for Isabel I, the Queen of Castilla (1454 -- 1504). Conceived, compiled, and conducted by Jordi Savall and performed by La Capella Reial de Catalunya with Hesperion XXI, the music is an impressive mixture of hymns and marches, songs and dances, strength and sensitivity. Grouped into five sets of works ranging across Isabel's entire reign from the hymn performed at her ascension to the requiem performed at her funeral. Each set is nicely balanced between public and private music and the progression of sets is meaningful and moving. The performances are as magisterial as the music: Savall and his forces have been bringing music to life for decades and the superb quality of their singing and playing is matched by the depth of their affection and enthusiasm. The sound is lush and voluptuous and the packaging is rich and luxuriant. This collection represents the classical music industry at its best.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard