This is one of La Rue's most engaging masses, with a wonderful sweep and energetic drive. There are some slow parts early, but the material is developed for later use, ultimately to fine effect.
While the performance is good, building on previous experience by this ensemble, there is sometimes a reluctance to sustain momentum. Blend can also be a problem. Nonetheless, it is easy to enjoy. The motets are also worthwhile.
The Quadris Lamentations offer some points of interest, but are certainly secondary. The La Rue motets, on the other hand, are well worth being recorded (again).
This disc was named my EM Record of the Year for 2003. This should not suggest that I ever considered it a truly landmark recording, as it has always had both good & bad parts, but it did happen to be the strongest individual item from 2003.
Despite the misgivings, this item continues to be one of the more appealing albums devoted (mostly) to La Rue's sacred music. It's strange to think of The Clerks' Group as an older ensemble at this point....
To renaissance sacred listTodd M. McComb