Victoria is one of the greatest of Renaissance composers and this new disc contains a veritable treasure trove of beautiful music from first note to last. Martin Baker directs the eminent Choir of Westminster Cathedral in splendid interpretations of some short works and the Missa Ave Regina caelorum, a seminal opus in Victoria's long legacy of compositions.
Baker directs with evident passion for the music and he brings a particular dramatic pathos to the pensive' Dixit Dominus' (for eight voices) as well as to the 'Magnificat septimi toni', that ponders and plods around only to end in a veritable blaze of light. The mass recorded here last almost twenty minutes exactly with the Credo being the only sizeable movement but it is also very beautifully sung with excellent organ accompaniment.
There is little left to add to those collectors who have recently been spoilt for choice by both Hyperion and Sanctuary with several recordings from this period. The cathedral's acoustic is excellent and Baker is definitely a sympathetic interpreter. It all depends on your kind of music but if you enjoy the mystique of choirs, this is definitely up your street.
Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech