ALBUM TITLE: Collection: The Flowering of Genius
PERFORMER: The Sixteen/Harry Christophers
CATALOGUE NO: 16001 (distr. Select) Reissue (1997, 1998)
Harry Christophers and The Sixteen are surely on to a real winner with this newly launched edition of their acclaimed recordings. The Flowering of Genius commemorates the opulent 1554 Christmas Day celebration in honour of Mary Tudor and Philip II of Spain. The Sixteen’s impressive architectural shaping in music by Guerrero and Tallis, its expressive intensity in the pieces by Victoria, evocative overlapping phrases in Monte’s Super flumina Babylonis, and ethereal presence in Sheppard’s Verbum caro make a sublime musical and spiritual experience.
Domenico Scarlatti is best remembered as one of the masters of Baroque keyboard music. Iste confessor winningly demonstrates that he was also an accomplished choral composer, from the delightful simplicity of the title piece to the generously proportioned ten-part Stabat mater. The magnificent performance of the Missa breve ‘La stella’, where the full choral sound decoratively pierced with vocal solos is controlled to perfection, is quite heavenly. Nicholas Rast