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“Asked to identify the composer of all these religious works except the Mass one would be most unlikely to think of Villa-Lobos. That largerthan- life exotic, that extravagantly experimental and boisterous figure, the composer of such chastely restrained music, the sweetly gentle Cordulce, the controlled fervour of the Paternoster? Even the impressive and grandiose Magnificat-alleluia gives no hint of its country of origin. The one clue here might be that, of the two Ave Marias, the (earlier) five-part setting is in Portuguese. It's only the Mass that reveals all. Amid its austere style and purely diatonic, contrapuntal idiom the Sanctus suddenly seems to come from a different background: then one remembers that Sebastian is the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro; and looking into the score one finds that the liturgical heading of each movement is followed by a local one, the final Agnus Dei bearing the subtitle 'Sebastian, protector of Brazil'. This programme, all of unaccompanied music except for the Magnificat-alleluia, should not be listened to as a continuity if some feeling of sameness is to be avoided: the Corydon Singers are most efficient in all they do, but the outstanding performance is of the Mass.”
“The whole disc is a bright feather in the Corydon cap”
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