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Magnificat - Philippe Rogier - BBC Music Magazine


01 April 2011
BBC Music Magazine
Anthony Pryer
4 Stars

Philippe Rogier served at the royal court in Madrid in the 16th century, and this is a second, enterprising disc from Philip Cave devoted to his excellent music.  Oddly, given the many surviving works by the composers, Cave includes the Missa Domine Dominus Noster on which the Mass may have been based was only recently discovered in Valladolid Cathedral, and is here recorded for the first time.

Following the Spanish custom these performances accompany some of these pieces with a glorious jamboree of instruments doubling and decorating the vocal lines; this creates a particularly awesome climax in Verbum caro factum est.  Of the works for three choirs, the spatial effects captured in the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men (Videntes Stellam Magi) are very effective, although the theatrical tricks are somewhat overdone, such as the instrumental blasts at the mention of their gifts.

Occasionally the singing can sound slightly shrill without depth or warmth, as in the unaccompanied motet Regina Caeli, though there's adroitness here too: the word ‘Resurrexit' conjures from them a wonderful dancing rhythm.


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