Performers: Declan Costello, William Towers (countertenor); Duncan Byrne, Nicholas Todd, Nicholas Yates (tenor); Damian O'Keeffe, Giles Underwood, Robert-Jan Temmink (bass)
Playing time: 71'46 (CD1), 70'37 (CD2)
Recording date: August 1997
Lassus's settings of the seven Penitential Psalms form one of the prime examples of what some contemporaries called musica reservata. This style of composition and performance apparently was 'reserved' for the private chambers of noble personages such as Lassus's employer Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, who kept these pieces exclusively for his own chapel for 25 years. The music in these settings, as in most of Lassus's enormous output, is based extremely closely on the rhetorical structure of the texts, producing a true musical expression of Renaissance humanism.
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