The Spanish label Glossa seems to be releasing a fair amount of sacred music, especially from the Neapolitan realms of the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the rerelease of the Alessandro Scarlatti Lamentations reviewed elsewhere, though to be fair they are also a conduit, as in this recording, for other European firms as well. This selection of late 17th-century Lessons from Holy Week, along with a few instrumental works for filler, fits nicely within Glossa’s repertoire, which includes Johann Sebastian Bach and Pierre Bouteiller, in addition to a rather quirky offering titled Monteverdi Meets Jazz .
All your enemies open their mouths wide against you; they scoff and gnash their teeth and say, “We have swallowed her up. This is the day we have waited for; we have lived to see it.” The Flemish singers sing with a clear, appealing simplicity that exudes an authentic monastic atmosphere. The rather spacious acoustics is clearly a large extent on without which the intelligibility of the text is at stake. Well done, five stars for the registration. In unison, homogeneous music if it's the little details that stand out. Thus, the "monks" in phrases that end with the vowel 'a' mutually not always agree on the sound of it. A little side note on a beautiful CD with the smooth-flowing Gregorian invites us to listen more often.
Martyn Brabbins is at the forefront of contemporary music: well renowned and high profile, he conducted at the opening Night of the Proms 2012. The three orchestral pieces presented here are a masterclass in orchestral colour and sound. Each piece was composed a decade apart and they give a good overall sense of Pickard’s development. Booklet notes are detailed and informative (by the composer).
British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage is widely admired for his distinctive blending of jazz and contemporary classical traditions, high energy and elegiac lyricism. Turnage was the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Composer in Residence from 2005–10 and this is the third volume of his music to be released on the LPO Label. It features five works recorded for the first time, including the world première peformance of his violin concerto Mambo, Blues and Tarantella with soloist Christian Tetzlaff.