Charpentier is better remembered for his Te Deum that has gained wide currency in its Eurovision format but there is a large body of works that remain unknown and these four compositions provide us with an interesting alternative to sample and evaluate. Skidmore and his excellent Ex Cathedra have already proved their mettle in this sort of repertoire so they are fully qualified to give us authoritative performances.
The Mass for Four Choirs is a forty minute work of unabashed splendour with some wonderful counterpoint and a ravishing Credo. The same goes for the strikingly radical, 'Salut de la veille des 'O' which also has some brilliantly original touches. The concluding motet dedicated to St. Peter's denial is also highly interesting. All lovers of rare choral music should not go without this fine disc.
Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech