Magnificat - Philippe Rogier -

A lovely and thoroughly engaging disc from Magnificat who are joined by His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts.

Philippe Rogier was a prolific composer who settled in Spain very early in life after a 11 years in Flanders. His style is typical of the era but the quality of his compositions is arguably on a par with that of Palestrina. For those who approached this era of composition through ensembles such as The Tallis Scholars, it will come as something of a shock to hear instrumental accompaniment in this repertoire.

For those unacquainted with Magnificat's work, one can rest easy once it is known that Philip Cave was a founder member of The Tallis Scholars and the parallel virtues of the two groups is clearly audible. Like his former director, Cave is just as assured in pacing and phrasing at both the phrase and longer time span. Perhaps compared to The Tallis Scholars, Magnificat's timbre is a little less rounded but it is no less pure on the intonation front, deliciously so on the many "crunch" chords. The instrumental accompaniment is equally sensitive and alive to the many facets of this beautiful music and they - together with Cave - elect to vary their forces to great effect...the music & performances are balm for the soul.
28 March 2011