It's wonderful to have this fine program of Brahms motets back in the catalog, especially since the other reference set of "complete motets", from Trinity College, Cambridge (Conifer), seems to be no longer available. (And also because my 21-year-old original Hyperion CD succumbed to a manufacturing defect from that era and is no longer playable!) Although the recording perspective is somewhat distant and perhaps slightly more resonant than ideal (Hyperion offers no clue as to the venue), there's no quibbling with the exemplary performances. These works demand a high level of technical proficiency from the ensemble, as well as a respect for textural clarity, and Matthew Best and his singers handily fulfill these requirements whileRead more offering a sound that exploits the music's more lyrical qualities. As before, the Geistliches Lied remains a highlight for its impassioned interpretation (aided by Best's sensitive pacing and John Scott's sympathetic organ accompaniment), and the several selections for women's voices are models of blend, balance, and assured technique. This is an essential component of any Brahms choral collection.
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