Album: Huelgas Ensemble, A Secret Labyrinth – A Celebration of Music from the Middle Ages to Renaissance (Sony Classical)

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The Independent Culture

This 15-CD set by the Huelgas Ensemble of singers under the direction of Paul Van Nevel is well-named, offering as it does access to the choral works which dominated European musical development for 400 years. It's a labyrinthine world of psalms, motets and shifting polyphonies in which the repeated lyric motifs of "Agnes Dei", "Dixit Dominus", "Sanctus", etc, recur in myriad forms. Alas, the accompanying booklet does not annotate the differences separating ,say, 13th-century arrangements from the 15th-century works, so mysteries remain.

Download this Spem in alium; Febus mundo oriens; Lamentations for Maundy Thursday; De tous biens plaine