Monte: Missa Ultimi miei sospiri; Magnificat sexti toni; Ne timeas, Maria; Fratres, ego enim accepi; Ad te levavi etc

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Monte
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Monte
WORKS: Missa Ultimi miei sospiri; Magnificat sexti toni; Ne timeas, Maria; Fratres, ego enim accepi; Ad te levavi etc
PERFORMER: Cinquecento
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67658

Advertisement

This, the third recording issued by the Cinquecento group, continues its practice of presenting works by composers who worked at the Hapsburg Court in Vienna. Philippe de Monte went there in 1568 and stayed for the rest of his life. The six male singers of Cinquecento have a lot going for them. They can sing in tune (the tortuous harmonies of Miserere mei are exquisitely presented), they are surefooted melodically (the startling leap at the opening of Ad te levavi is deftly managed) and they blend well together (as in the second section of Frates ego). On the other hand their pronunciation of words is hardly distinct (the Verdelot madrigal) and their sense of form rarely rises above localised moments of intensity (the Agnus of the Mass is reduced to an amorphous meandering). The voices are warmly recorded though a little too closely, and there are occasional distortions of the high countertenor notes (in the Kyrie and Osanna). Even so, their performances make it clear that Monte is a composer of distinction. Anthony Pryer