30 Jul 2021
Isaac: Missa Wohlauff gut Gsell von hinnen & other works
Heinrich Isaac (c1450-1517) is one of Josquin’s greatest contemporaries. He had a glittering career working for Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence and then Maximilian I in Vienna, and alongside the towering achievement of his Choralis Constantinus his masses and motets always catch my attention on disc. Missa Wohlauff gut Gsell von hinnen is an intriguing work: written during his early years in Vienna it is based on the popular song Comment peult avoir joye? (How can one have joy whom fortune opposes?) which is also performed on this disc in Josquin’s 4voice setting from the early 1490s. Isaac had already written a 4voice mass based on this song during his time in Florence, but for the 6voice version recorded here he revisited, reordered and expanded many of the sections of that earlier work to make a much larger-scale setting which is both rich and intricate.
[...] What I admire most from Cinquecento though is their sense of polyphonic momentum and on this disc in particular, they find a perfect balance of long-range phrasing with surface detail. The result is a sonically beautiful performance which holds my attention.
To read the full text of this article please visit www.gramophone.co.uk (August 2021)