I must confess that I had no idea who Martin Peerson (c1572-1651) was but this richly recorded disc packed with 15 Latin Motets made me reflect on how much composers and their music remain unknown although their capabilities are of the highest order. The expert Jeffrey Skidmore and his fine Ex Cathedra Consort turn out the expected high standard of performance throughout.
Each of the motets last from between three to five minutes and are full of the wonderful choral mastery that is typical of 16th century music. The sense of mystery and beauty is ever present especially in 'Christus factus est' and the magnificent concluding, 'Multa flagella peccatoris'. Skidmore directs with unmannered affection for this music and the result is as smooth as one now expects from this partnership.
Richard Rastall writes some interesting biographical notes on this obscure composer and this is essential for one to be able to understand the music and its relevant historical context. Hyperion's recording is excellent with just the right amount of reverberation for the top notes. Those who love this repertoire should not hesitate in adding the name of Martin Peerson to their collection.
Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech