Notes and Editorial Reviews
As his starting point for a brand new recording of the music from the polychoral Renaissance and the "monumental Baroque", with Alessandro Striggio's 40 and 60-part Missa sopra Ecco sì beato giorno leading the way, Hervé Niquet turns to the musical celebrations for a feast day occasion in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence in honour of St John the Baptist, adding a trio of works by Orazio Benevoli, another specialist in multi-parted choral works, and Striggio's motet Ecce beatem lucem, also scored for 40 voices. For sessions in Notre-Dame du Liban in Paris, using an edition of the Mass by Dominique Visse, originating in 1978, Niquet gathered 60 singers (as called for in the Agnus Dei) plus instrumentalists of Le Concert Spirtuel around him in a circle (conductor and microphones inside) for a new SACD surround sound experience from Glossa, that calls on all the ceremonial pomp and flair which the French musicians have been showing themselves to be the masters of over the years in concert and on disc. And who better than the famous French countertenor Visse himself to be drawn into that circle as one of the 60 singers! Added in, for good measure, for this programme of Florentine flamboyance from the Renaissance and Baroque are polyphonic arrangements of Gregorian plainchant Mass Propers by Franceso Corteccia, maestro di cappella in the Cathedral of Florence in Striggio's time.