Ribe Cathedral, in the Southwest of Denmark, is one of the few places in the world where the earliest Lutheran church music practice can be reconstructed. Thanks to the Danish hymn collector Hans Thomissøn (1532-73), music director at Ribe Cathedral School around 1560, a clearly shaped liturgy was equipped with the relevant music. In exemplary manner this recording reflects the elements that made up an early Lutheran feast-day service in Denmark, including a fashionable Mass cycle by the Flemish master Jacobus Clemens non Papa. This release is just in time for the 500th anniversary of Europe’s Reformation. Musica Ficta, established in 1996, specializes in early music, particularly medieval and renaissance music.
Let us not quibble, Denmark’s Musica Ficta is a fine ensemble directed by Bo Holten, and to have the disc is most interesting and enjoyable. Adding to the authenticity, Dacapo’s excellent recording has been made earlier this year in Ribe Cathedral, and hugely informative programme notes are included.