Regis: Opera omnia

Regis: Opera omnia
The Clerks - Edward Wickham
Musique en Wallonie 0848/9 (2 CDs)

The previous Regis recording listed here contained the two masses, and was one of my favorite items in this section. This performance has some plusses and minuses versus that performance, but the addition of the motets is a major addition. These include some quite compelling & interesting music.

This is a transitional time in cantus firmus writing, and Regis is one of the most distinctive voices. The masses are quite interesting, including a real tour-de-force in the Missa Ecce Ancilla Domini, obviously inspired by Dufay. The motets, as noted, are also very worthwhile.

The performance is good. The Clerks continue to develop their style, and their experience with 15th century polyphony obviously shows. At times I am not completely pleased with the harshness of some of the lines or the rhythms being a bit blunted, but this is certainly a quality interpretation that serves the music well. One certainly cannot argue against the "completeness" aspect as a nice touch.

Ultimately, this music stands up well alongside much Dufay's or Ockeghem's work, and will likely remain some of the most intriguing mid-15th sacred polyphony for some time.

And this was apparently The Clerks' final recording, after numerous important readings under Wickham (& under their similar, previous moniker), i.e. saving their best interpretations for last.

To renaissance sacred list

Todd M. McComb
Updated: 26 October 2021