The somewhat mysterious figure of Alonso Lôbo receives due appreciation on this stunning disc that features some of his most exalted music in the form of two masses and a fantastic set of variations and lamentations. Having just reviewed the similarly effusive and ebullient Busnois disc for Hyperion, I immediately warmed to the rising and intrinsic polyphony of Lôbo's work. Trendell's direction is sympathetic and heavily involving especially in the closing pages of the Credo in the Missa Simile est Regnum Caelorum where the complexity of voice interaction is quite ravishing. Beechey has done sterling work in the editing of this mass as has the same Trendell in the final work on disc, Missa O Rex Gloriae. Here, Lôbo is closer to the magisterial polyphony of Taverner and Tallis and he is definitely to be counted as one of the finest moments of Renaissance musical literature. The Lamentations Iremiae Prophetae are also one of the most important contributions to the genre and are extrinsically similar to Zelenka's set of lamentations (recorded on Hyperion's Helios label), but depart from the rather sedate construction there. The acoustic is breathlessly clear and beautifully tempered on all fronts and those collectors who have invested in AS&V's utterly brilliant Gaudeamus series will make haste to add this CD to their collections as should all sensible researchers into this sort of choral music.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech