Performers: The Choir of Westminster Cathedral
His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts: Jeremy West and David
Staff, cornetts; Susan Addison, alto sackbut; Peter Bassano, alto
and tenor sackbuts; Paul Nieman and Tom Lees, tenor sackbuts;
Stephen Saunders, bass sackbut; William Lyons, bass dulcian; Amanda
Timothy Roberts, Iain Simcock, and Iris Schollhorn, organs
Playing time: 63'24"
Recorded June 23,24,25,28,29,30 1993, Westminster Cathedral, London
Lassus was considered to be the greatest composer of his day. Today his vast output is woefully underrecorded. When his sacred music is performed today, it is generally sung unaccompanied, giving it a stark, black-and-white sound. The instumental additions here provide a wonderfully colorful performance. For example the Agnus Dei from the Lassus Mass is performed twice, first with voices and very discreet organ, then the cornetts and sackbuts join in, to bring the Mass to a glorious, jubilant conclusion. As well as give support and texture to the voices in the Mass, the cornett and sackbut ensemble perform instrumental canzoni. There are also solo organ pieces and unaccompanied vocal motets to give a listener the experience of how a sacred service in Munich might have sounded in the late sixteenth century.
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