Ensemble Jacques Moderne / Joël Suhubiette

Morales: Missa de Beata Virgine; Salve Regina

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Musical settings of texts concerned with Mary were central to the Renaissance repertory. While the particular Spanish pieces on this recording may not previously have been brought together, the musicians and annotator don't try to claim that there's any specific musical style associated with Marian devotion. Instead, the notes focus on the unusual text of the Missa de beata virgine of Cristóbal de Morales (the misspelling of whose name in the tracklist is but one of many embarrassing editorial errors), which includes tropes in the Gloria and an "Ave Maria" exclamation replacing one of the voices in the Credo. The mass is framed by and interspersed with motets and a substantial Salve regina by Francisco Guerrero, all of them also on Marian themes. Overall, this an attractive but not groundbreaking disc of Renaissance polyphony from the Ensemble Jacques Moderne, a chorus (elsewhere involving instrumentalists) from the region of Tours, France, that originated in the music department of a university not specified in the notes. The mixed-gender adult singers are competent but not on a level with some of the other choirs that have delved into Spanish polyphony, making this disc of most interest to specialists with interests in the particular textural issues involved with these pieces.

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