Frye: Missa Summe trinitati

Northerne Wynde
Music of Walter Frye
Ferrara Ensemble - Crawford Young
Marc Aurel Edition 20018

Frye wrote three attributed masses, and two of them are quite enjoyable. In this program, the Ferrara Ensemble elected to present only the Agnus Dei of the Missa Flos regalis in four parts, meaning that the present disc is not the best program it could be, but I still prefer it overall. The three-voice Missa Summe trinitati is also of high quality, and of rather different style — both more severe & more intricate.

The performance here is solid, showing excellent clarity & melodic command. The sense of harmonic momentum really comes through, and this is what makes Frye's music enjoyable. This is the best of the Frye interpretations, but I also tend to favor the richness & crossing voices of the Missa Flos regalis.

Instrumental tracks are basically interludes, and not nearly as compelling as some of this ensemble's other work. The conjecturally attributed mass has some merit, but would not support a listing by itself.

To renaissance sacred list

Todd M. McComb