Album: Various Artists, Reformation & Counter-Reformation (OutHere/Ricercar)

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The Independent Culture

Like Dinastia Borgia, this eight-CD set offers a musical representation of a historical process, in this case the continent-wide waves of religious dissent that rippled across Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The mostly choral music is organised into individual discs detailing how the changes were treated in each territory: the work of Tallis, Byrd and Purcell in England, Sweelinck and Van Eyck in the Low Countries, Frescobaldi and Palestrina in Italy etc. Sourced from a wide range of ensembles including the Tallis Scholars and Vox Luminis, with much newly-recorded material, it's a hugely impressive achievement that serves to fill in the stages leading up to the great Bach cantatas.

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