Album: Josquin, Missa Malheur me bat – Tallis Scholars, (Gimell)

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The Independent Culture

But for the absence of the songs on which these masses were based – Malcort's 'Malheur me bat' and Busnoys's 'Fortuna desperata' – this is one of the Tallis Scholars' finest recordings.

Josquin's disposition of the vocal parts does not play to the group's strengths: the top line lies significantly low, close to the elaborate tracery of the high tenors, and the bass line is stark and severe. Yet both masses convey the sense of a long pilgrimage towards an unhurried, sophisticated and deeply felt "Agnus Dei".

Pick of the album: The tripartite 'Agnus Dei' of 'Missa Malheur me bat'

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