Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli / Motets
Sistine Chapel Choir / Massimo Palombella
Deutsche Grammophon 479 6131
The Sistine Chapel Choir in partnership with Deutsche Grammophon continue to deliver supremely atmospheric and intriguing performances of Palestrina’s polyphony. It is perhaps inevitable that this world-famous choir, newly energised under the direction of Massimo Palombella, would record the Missa Papae Marcelli early in their discography, the mass famous for having ‘saved’ sacred polyphony by presenting the texts clearly and intelligibly. Their recording draws on editions from 1567-1600 lacking the seven-part Agnus Dei II and, as such, it is not sung on this disc.
Previously in their album Cantate Domino (479 5300) I found the Sistine Chapel choir reminiscent of Westminster Cathedral Choir under George Malcolm. This new recording is different, partly due to the broader style of the mass, and partly due to a cleaner, less mannered performance from the choir.
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