Monica Huggett, Chiara Banchini, Ton Koopman, Hopkinson Smith, Jordi Savall
Alia Vox AVSA9944
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This re-issue of a 1985 recording in Alia Vox’s ‘Heritage’ series comes with a relatively lavish booklet (in French, English, Spanish, Catalan, German and Italian), including artist photos and facsimiles. Of necessity the essay is brief, but we are told what we need to know, and these programmatic masterpieces each have movement-by-movement guides, enhanced and emphasised by the spoken titles at the start of each track. The starry line-up produces tremendous performances: others have done it differently, but I doubt that any have done it better. If you don’t already have this on your shelf (possibly in more than one format), now’s your chance!