In The Dark

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Anerio,Bates,etc,Lassus,Lotti,Macmillan,Purcell,Victoria
LABELS: Resonus
ALBUM TITLE: In The Dark
WORKS: Bates: tenebrae; Victoria: Versa est in luctum; Ecce quomodo moritur; MacMillan; Miserere; plus works by Anerio, Lotti, Lassus, Purcell, etc
PERFORMER: The Platinum Consort/Scott Inglis-Kidger
CATALOGUE NO: RES 10110

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The Platinum Consort sing two to a part, using virtually no vibrato. That makes the pristine tonal balance and pure tuning achieved on the opening track here, Felice Anerio’s Christus factus est, all the more laudable. This intimate music-making draws you in gently but ineluctably.

The sudden shortening of note values in Lotti’s Crucifixus is neatly and unfussily negotiated, and conductor Scott Inglis-Kidger allows the two sopranos an affecting crescendo as the piece climaxes, though he generally keeps the singing within a fairly narrow range dynamically. That’s arguably something of a drawback in the two works by Victoria, both of which are strongly charged emotionally. More variation in dynamics, and slightly sharper shaping of the text, would help the listener engage further with these intensely expressive pieces.

The Tenebrae sequence of the young British composer Richard Bates is more vigorously projected, with specially strong contributions from the basses. There’s some lovely writing here, the soaring soprano solo at ‘Insurrexerunt in me viri’ particularly impressive. MacMillan’s Miserere is probably the most demanding piece technically. The sopranos rise to the challenge of the exposed singing at ‘Amplius lava’ and the awkward trills MacMillan writes on ‘mea’ and ‘me’ in that section.

This interesting, sensitively sung programme, recorded with gleaming clarity, is available in a variety of download formats, including cover art and full documentation.

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Terry Blain