Album: Jan Lundgren, Magnum Mysterium (Act)

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Released for Christmas 2007 and now available to download from Amazon, this is pianist/arranger Lundgren's faithful jazz homage to Renaissance choral music.

On arrangements of melodies by Monteverdi, Byrd and de Morales, the effect is less stark and more conventionally beautiful than Jan Garbarek and the Hilliards' superficially similar Officium, whose huge success presumably helped inspire the recording. It's also wonderfully ambient, and therefore unlikely to offend the sherry-glugging classes when played as a seasonal aperitif.