Agricola: Missa Malheur me bat / Missa In minen sin

Agricola: Missa Malheur me bat / Missa In minen sin
Ars Nova Secunda Chorus - János Bali
Hungaroton 32011

This music is rather difficult to follow, but once grasped, it becomes increasingly compelling. The scope and level of detail in these masses is perhaps the largest anywhere. The motivic variation, ornamentation, rhythmic shifts etc. ... these are almost unprecedented, before or after. The first mass is the more self-contained, while the latter apparently misses its beginning, as well as seeming inconclusive at the end. The music in sum shows a very keen imagination, and is perhaps the very highlight of the pre-rational style.

This performance is superb, probably a necessary quality for enjoying this music. It builds on this group's previous recording, building their stature as time passes.

Although I had some misgivings on this music in the beginning, I find it increasingly compelling. In fact, I find it has served to clarify many of my views regarding the music of this generation.

This disc was named my EM Record of the Year for 2001.

To renaissance sacred list

Todd M. McComb
Updated: 10 January 2002