Album: Westminster Cathedral Choir, Stephen Cleobury, Masterpieces 0f Renaissance Polyphony (Newton Classics)

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The Independent Culture

During the great religious battles of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, music was one of the subtler, but most effective, weapons in the clergies' arsenal.

This anthology of choral works represents some of the highlights of the Catholic response to the more functional music favoured by Luther, with due eminence paid to Palestrina, father of renaissance polyphony. His "Peccantem me quotidie" has the sombre penitential tone appropriate for Lent, and along with Lotti's moving meditation on Christ's suffering "Crucifixus" shows that Catholics could be just as austere as Protestants. More jubilant are the cascading lines of two interleaving choirs in Victoria's "Lauda Sion".

DOWNLOAD THIS Peccantem me quotidie; Crucifixus; Cantate Domino; Lauda Sion