Jerusalem: Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe, 1764

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Several years prior to the release of this album, the San Francisco-based male choral group Chanticleer made an album of religious works by two Mexican composers of the Baroque period, Manuel de Zumaya and Ignacio de Jerusalem. For this one, they return to that repertoire with a stunning performance of a musical Matins service by de Jerusalem. De Jerusalem was born and raised in Italy and was recruited to come to Mexico to strengthen the music program at one of Mexico City's most renowned theaters. Around 1750 he was appointed chapel master of the cathedral in that city, and there composed some of the most spectacular music of the period. The Matins service re-created here includes a number of lessons, antiphons, and responsories as well as a glorious nine-section Te Deum setting; scattered throughout the program are several miscellaneous works of similar character by de Zumaya and one by Giacomo Rust, an Italian composer whom de Jerusalem probably knew during his student years. As always, Chanticleer performs with an impressive blend of precision and jubilation, and the choir's tone is amazingly rich and beautiful; the production quality is top-notch as well. Very highly recommended.

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