8 Oct 2021
Regnart: Missa Christ ist erstanden & other works
Regular readers will know that I hold Cinquecento in especially high regard so it will come as no surprise if I open by saying that this new disc, their third to feature works by Jacob Regnart (c1540-1599), maintains their exquisitely high quality of both performance and progamme. The most famous of five musical brothers, Jacob (Jacques) Regnart was one of several Netherlanders to hold posts at the German Hapsburg court, and his music at times reminds me of the sonorous contrapuntal density of Gombert (c1495-c1560) but, as Stephen Rice points out, a much closer comparison can be made with Lassus (c1530-1594) both in terms of clarity of texture and especially when considering the variety and sheer quantity of output.
Missa Freu dich, du werthe Christenheit (Rejoice, O worthy Christendom) offers a more bewitchingly tuneful texture reflecting the longer phrases of its model. The gentle unfurling of the imitative Kyrie phrases are magical on this recording and listen out especially for a joyful countertenor moment in the Gloria at Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris (who sits at the right hand of the Father); it’s not called Ars Perfecta for nothing.
To read the full text of this article please visit www.gramophone.co.uk (Awards issue 2021)