Album Review

Posted: Sunday 11th April 1999
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Crucifixus – Cathedral Music

How often one sees “Music for Holy Week” advertised as a concert. Well, here is that concert come true and most beautifully done too. The Vasari Singers are as expert and experienced in this music as their director Jeremy Backhouse. So the performances can almost be taken for granted so expert is the singing. Lovely actual sound, perfection in blend and balance with a feel for the lead of entries, all with a fine range of dynamics. The programme offers a number of delights, one of them the chance to hear three Crucifixus settings by Antonio Lotti in 6, 8 and 10 vocal parts. The famous Miserere of Allegri us given with conjectural parts written by Ivor Atkins, complete with top Cs so memorably by generations of boy choristers. The ladies of Vasari do not sound like boys but still float the high parts beautifully (slight reservation about intonation here). Actually after all that penitential polyphony it is a relief to join jolly old Scarlatti for a more baroque Stabat Mater. This appropriately brings a change of tonal style, in addition to instrumental accompaniment. Altogether a most successful recording, nicely captured by Guild engineers.

Peter Moorse
Cathedral Music