Album review: Annibale Padovano, Missa a 24 (Harmonia Mundi)


Annibale Padovano, organist at San Marco in Venice, was one of the innovators of a new Venetian performance mode, incorporating several vocal and instrumental choirs positioned around a room. It required large forces to perform, but enabled a new synthesis of Renaissance and older Flemish polyphonic traditions in works like Padovano's Mass for 24 Voices, unearthed by the brilliant Paul Van Nevel and performed here by his Huelgas Ensemble. It's presented here in two versions, one for 21 voices blended with two cornets and a trombone — unusual but effective — and a second version, ostensibly for three voices and 21 instruments, but presented here by a full choir sometimes with just a lone horn, an arrangement especially effective in the "Gloria" section.

Download: Version I; Version II