Lassus is known as a composer who was incredibly prolific and at times his music does contain a touch of the mundane. However, this well compiled disc by Carwood and his tried and trusted Cardinall's Musick is a pleasant listen throughout, not only for the variety of the pieces but also for the impeccable execution by these seasoned artists.
'Quam Pulchra Es' is a lovely opener with its succinct melodies whilst the short 'Veni in Hortum Meum' also contains music of the highest order despite its brevity. 'Surge Propera Amica Mea' is also just the right motet before the 'Missa Surge Propera' which is the longest and perhaps the finest work on disc. A trenchant 'Kyrie' leads to an energetic 'Gloria' whilst the 'Credo' shows Lassus at his most inspired with some extremely hard work for the choir. There are three short movements to conclude the work and these are a Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei that last just about two minutes each. This is indeed a fine work that deserves more currency and it really comes alive under Carwood.
Of the five remaining pieces on this hour-long disc, it is definitely the 'Magnificat Quarti Toni' which is the most memorable and with its eight voices, it is a superb conclusion to proceedings. This collection is indeed an ideal introduction to Lassus' music and in Andrew Carwood and The Cardinall's Musick, he finds most sympathetic interpreters.
Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech