Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki: [Church music]

The Sixteen, Eamonn Dougan
68:02
Coro COR16130
Conductus funebris, Illuxit sol, In virtute tua Domine, Litaniae de Providentia Divina, Missa Rorate caeli, O Rex gloriae Domine, Sepulto Domino

Don’t be put off by the snappy title and marvellous marketing! This is a gorgeous recording of some really lovely music – you will not be alone if you have never heard of the composer; he lived 1665–1734 and was head of music in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow for the last 36 years of his life. You will be doing well if you can read all of the booklet note; while there is undoubtedly a lot of interesting material there, I was simply overwhelmed by the in-depth analysis of the pieces on the disc, especially when they are nothing out of the ordinary for the period in which they were written. The a cappella music is Fux-like (is that surprising for someone who lived in Prague and Vienna as a student?), while that with instruments has a lot in common with German music of the time (les goûts réunis and all that!) The performances are excellent, with lovely solo singing, a beautifully balanced and controlled choral sound, and some lively playing from the band (pairs of trumpets and oboes with strings and continuo including theorbo and harp, with special plaudits to Huw Daniel for some nifty bow work in the motet Illuxit sol). This is the third CD in The Sixteen’s exploration of early music from Poland – don’t miss them!

Brian Clark