La music per San Francesco dal XIII al XVI secolo
Tactus TC 250001
This selection of sacred music devoted to St Francis includes some real musical gems, perhaps most strikingly the items from the 13th-century Reims Psalter which include a dramatic Kyrie and other liturgical items. The later material from the 15th and 16th centuries receives varied performances on a galaxy of instruments and voices. By doubling lots of different instruments, the ensemble of just 13 players and singers manages a dazzling variety of timbres and textures, including the unexpected sounds of for example the Renaissance psaltery. Meanwhile, the voices are cappella chanters, solo singers and narrators. This versatility adds enormous variety to a programme already diverse in its sources and material. I have just one small gripe – inexplicably and as happens so often the spoken voice inhabits its own boomy world of artificial acoustic. Why not just record it in the same natural acoustic as the singing voices? Anyway, this CD provides a varied and consistently interesting cross-section of Franciscan music from three centuries in performances which are arresting and impressive.
D. James Ross
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