Album: Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Missa Assumpta est Maria/Niquet (Glossa)

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The Independent Culture

Together with Jean Gilles' Requiem, Charpentier's Missa is one of the most beguiling late 17th-century French choral works.

Where Ivor Bolton paired the Mass with Charpentier's jaunty "Te Deum" in their 1996 recording, Hervé Niquet extends the instrumental verses: adding the (much earlier) "Pour un reposoir" and two settings of "Domine salvum fac Regem". The orchestral playing is suave, while the vocal consort benefits from bright, firm baritones and basses.

Pick of the album: A plangent 'Agnus Dei' framed by two grave sinfonias