Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Vol. 5

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Vol. 5

by The Sixteen


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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Vol. 5

British choir the Sixteen (actually 18 voices strong in this recording) has proclaimed itself "the voice of Classic FM," Britain's crossover-oriented radio networks, and they have released plenty of Renaissance and Baroque compilations whose most prominent feature is that they are easy on the ears. The choir is undeniably strong technically, and it's a pleasure to find them delving into less familiar repertory, including here the works of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina beyond the three or four that are generally recorded and taken as exemplary of his style. The Sixteen have always offered a clean but slightly sensuous sound that's tailor-made for Palestrina, and here they deploy it in some marvelous works. The "Missa Iam Christus Astra Ascenderat," accompanied on the program by the plainchant hymn that serves as its cantus firmus, is something of an opposite number to the famous "Pope Marcellus Mass": it is dense in linear ways rather than vertically. The chant is manipulated with great subtlety and inventiveness, and it is quite apparent in the texture. If it's the large spaces of the "Pope Marcellus Mass" you enjoy, try the motet "Loquebantur variis linguis" (track 2) or the concluding "Magnificat quarti toni." Most beautiful of all perhaps are the three limpid settings from the biblical Song of Songs, which were popular in Palestrina's own time. Strongly recommended for anyone at all with an interest in the great conservative of Italian Renaissance music.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2014
Label: Coro
UPC: 0828021612428
catalogNumber: 16124
Rank: 172424


  1. Laeva eius, motet for 5 voices (from Motets Book IV from Canticis canticorum)
  2. Veni Sancte Spiritus, motet for 8 voices (from Motets Book III)
  3. Missa Jam Christus astra ascenderat, for 4 voices (from Masses Book V)
  4. Iam Christus Astra Ascenderat
  5. Veni Creator spiritus, hymn for 4 voices (undated)
  6. Loquebantur variis linguis, motet for 4 voices
  7. Dum complerentur, motet for 6 voices (from Motets Book I)
  8. Magnificat, Tone 4 (unspecified of 5 settings)
  9. Surge propera amica mea, motet for 4 voices
  10. Vox dilecti mei, motet for 5 voices (from Motets Book IV from Canticis canticorum)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sixteen   Primary Artist

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