Palestrina: Missa Confitebor tibi Domine

Dark green flowers

Yale Schola Cantorum, David Hill
hyperion CDA68210
+Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas,* Confitebor tibi Domine, Introduxit me rex,* Loquebantur variis linguis,* Magnificat primi toni & Ricercar del quinto tuono* (*played by Bruce Dickey cornett, and Liuwe Tamminga organ); Ricercar del sesto tuono (organ solo)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] can still remember being stunned by the 1996 Dorian CD (DIS 80146) of polychoral music by Victoria sung by Saint Clement’s Choir, Philadelphia – I had no idea that American choirs could and did sound so good. We ignore the American choral scene at our peril, as it is a sophisticated and well-financed sector which produces excellent results. Under the direction of David Hill, Yale Schola Cantorum produce a truly beautiful performance of the ordinary of Palestrina’s double-choir Missa Confitebor tibi Domine, preceded by the motet he based it on, the eight-part Magnificat primi toni  and various instrumental goodies. The instrumental works are played by the legendary Bruce Dickey on the cornett and Liuwe Tammingo on the organ, the latter also contributing a solo organ Ricercar. These instrumental tracks were recorded in Bologna, allowing Tammingo access to what sounds like an appropriate period instrument although no details are given, whereas the choral music was recorded in the lavish acoustic of Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut. Built upon a clearly very dynamic church music tradition at Yale, the Schola Cantorum produce a beautifully refined sound and with David Hill at the helm give an intelligent and thoroughly musical account of Palestrina’s music. Add to this admirable package a cogent and very readable note by the authoritative Noel O’Reagan and the result is extremely impressive in every respect.

D. James Ross

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