Album: Mazzocchi, Vespro della beata Vergine - Cantus Cölln (Harmonia Mundi)

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The Independent Culture

Cantus Cölln's imagined reconstruction of a Vespers performance in St Peter's, Rome, captures the collision of 16th-century polyphony and 17th-century monody in psalms, hymns and canzonas by Virgilio Mazzocchi, Carissimi, Frescobaldi and Palestrina. The string playing is zestful, while Concerto Palatino's sackbutts and cornett add lustre. Sadly, the singing is often thin and unsupported, sounding more authentic to the early days of the early music movement than baroque devotional music.

Pick of the Album: Frescobaldi's glorious 'Canzona a due cori'

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