Monday, January 17, 2011

Awards 2010: Medieval & Renaissance

Moulu: Missa Missus est Gabriel angelus; Missa Alma redemptoris mater
Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice


Let's give the first critical words of these Awards to Classics Today's David Vernier, who notes "It's not easy to find the name Pierre Moulu mentioned in the music history books--and indeed this new recording claims to be the first devoted to his works". These are "sensitively balanced, tonally ravishing performances" of music whose "long melodic lines, perfectly integrated with magnificently constructed delayed-resolution harmonic progressions, and the clearly defined textures recall not only Gombert but later contemporary English composer Robert Parsons--but no matter the associations, the music is prodigiously affecting and extraordinarily well-made". In International Record Review, Ivan Moody remarks "The Brabant Ensemble's vibrant sound is ideal for this music. Rice is careful never to allow the upper voices to dominate, with the result that the polyphonic workings of all these pieces are clearly audible, something rather rarer than one might think".
The Brabant Ensemble wins ahead of two releases from The Cardinall's Musick, including the final volume of their Byrd series, as well as another of Jordi Savall's music/history productions and a disc from last year's award winners Stile Antico.

Guerrero: Missa Congratulamini mihi, etc. The Cardinall's Musick/Andrew Carwood [Hyperion]
Byrd: "Infelix ego". The Cardinall's Musick/Andrew Carwood [Hyperion]
"The Forgotten Kingdom: The Albigensian Crusade". Hespérion XXI; La Capella Reial de Catalunya/Jordi Savall [Alia Vox]
Sheppard: "Media vita". Stile Antico [Harmonia Mundi]

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