Amarae morti: Lamentations and Motets by Cardoso, Gombert, Lassus, Morales, Palestrina, Phinot & Victoria. From darkness to light: Peter Phillips’ journey enlists some of the greatest names from across Renaissance Europe. Our survey of some of the finest—but perhaps lesser-known—music from the Renaissance period begins with a sequence of penitential pieces; moves through an intermediate stage; before finally arriving at three obviously extrovert compositions. This dazzling parade is rounded off with Palestrina’s iconic double-choir Psalm motet, Laudate pueri.
Phillips pounces on all the details that matter: dissonances crunch satisfactorily, imitative points are tightly nested,Read more and light streams through thick homophony. The choir is fresh-sounding, and its ensemble is assured. It delivers the giddiness of Victoria’s Regina caeli with panache.
– BBC Music Magazine
Here is a delightful disc made to an interesting recipe. The result has the air of a joyful adventure about it; proudly choral (as opposed to consort) but with absolutely captivating clarity. Their sound is soft and warm, and favours long, flowing phrases over bulging points of imitation
Lovers of Renaissance polyphony will find that this programme is full of magnificent music from start to finish. The singing of El Léon de Oro is consistently accomplished and full of conviction. I haven’t encountered them before but I’m seriously impressed by what I’ve heard and I hope that Hyperion will record them again. Of course, they could scarcely have more authoritative direction in repertoire such as this than from Peter Phillips.