Corpus Christi: Compline and Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament for the Octave of Corpus Christi

Floral design

Victoria Musicae, Josep R. Gil-Tarrega
Brilliant Classics 95263

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom the number of world premiere recordings on this CD, we are clearly being given a privileged insight into the relatively unfamiliar world of the early Baroque Maestros de Capilla of the Corpus Christi Royal College of Valencia. The music for Compline and the litany for the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi is composed by Maximo Rios, Antonio Ortells, Anceto Baylon, Jose Hinojosi, Marcos Perez and Joan Baptista Comes and linked together by plainchant. Given the present obscurity of the composers, the music is remarkably good, inventive and accomplished, while the performances by Victoria Musicae are also generally pleasing, with just occasional lapses in tuning. Dating from the second half of the 17th century, the music is performed by a choir, with five soloists, an organ, theorbo, violon and bajon. This is the best thing about low-cost labels such as Brilliant Classics – for very little outlay of money, you can achieve an unparalleled insight into an unsuspected body of music, which turns out to have its own unique virtues and charms. Fascinatingly, the music which to my ear it most closely resembled was the Spanish music of the New World, recently so in vogue.

D. James Ross

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