“What a feast for lovers of Renaissance polyphony, and the only available recording of Philippe de Monte's parody mass Missa Aspice Domine, based on a motet by an earlier composer, Jacquet of Mantua, also included here. In general Stephen Darlington adopts a faster tempo for the mass than for the slow-moving motet, but the mood is still quietly pleading. One of the loveliest forward-looking movements is the Angus Dei: the trebles lead with the finely structured melody, the lower voices being more of an accompaniment than a clearly defined part of the polyphonic texture. Two of de Monte's original motets that follow are again settings of texts of earnest supplication. The most moving is the Miserere, with its opening phrases marked by an imaginative chord progression. Of the other three, we hear the composer's surprisingly loud-sounding 'silence in heaven' as Michael does the dragon in (Factum est silentium).”
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