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COMPOSERS: Gesualdo/Gorli
LABELS: Harmonia Mundi Suite
WORKS: Responsoria et alia ad Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae spectantia; Motets; Requiem
PERFORMER: Ensemble Vocal Européen/Philippe Herreweghe
CATALOGUE NO: HMT 7901320 (1990)
This account of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday is one of the finest on record, with Herreweghe bringing an understated intensity to works that are so easily over-dramatised. The pairing (curiously not mentioned on the CD’s front cover) is with a piece specially written for the choir by the contemporary Italian composer Sandro Gorli. His Requiem is a stark contemplation of death, setting a rather cloying text addressed to a child. It’s admirably performed, if this sort of meditative minimalism is your thing. Kate Bolton