PALESTRINA by Sistine Chapel Choir

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Palestrina by sistine chapel choir

Item details

Brand New
Country/Region of Manufacture
United States
Sistine Chapel Choir
Release Date
July 10, 2016
Number of Discs
Record Label
Decca (UMO) Classics

More about this item

by Sistine Chapel Choir

Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli or Pope Marcellus Mass is the Renaissance composition you know if you know only one, and the Sistine Chapel Choir has 400-plus years of experience in performing it. So this release, on the rather conservative Deutsche Grammophon label, might seem a stodgy exercise in tradition. In fact it is nothing of the sort. Director Massimo Palombella readily admits the necessity of not "simply mirroring existing versions," and he has forged a reading shaped by modern discoveries concerning Renaissance performance practice. The choir (men and boys) is shaved down to a force of about 30, and Palombella gets a remarkable sound that is clean yet intimate. The registrally complex polyphony of the Missa Papae Marcelli comes through unscathed, and the mass gets a clearer stylistic differentiation from the short motets included than was possible under the more homogeneous, large-choir approach that has been so common with this music. The biggest thing listeners familiar with the mass will notice is that Palombella introduces tempo shifts such as ritardandi. This is discussed at length in the booklet and heavily footnoted, and it represents a new approach not only for Palestrina, but for Renaissance sacred polyphony in general. The jury is still out on this, but Palombella's approach is consistent and generally expressive. A major advantage is the sound, described as being recorded in a studio in the Sistine Chapel itself. It's a little unclear what this involved, but apparently the choir was moved from its usual spot and for most of the pieces placed in front of the altar, where it was enclosed in a studio-like space. The results are impressive, and in general this is a fresh approach to Palestrina that is well worth the listener's time. 

Track List:

1. Missa Papae Marcelli - Sistine Chapel Choir & Massimo Palombella     
     1. Kyrie Sistine      
     2. Gloria     
     3. Credo     
     4. Sanctus 
     5.  Agnus Dei     
6. Tu Es Pastor Ovium 
7. O Bone Iesu     
8. Confitemini Domino     
9. Ad Te Levavi Oculos Meos     
10. Benedixisti, Domine     
11. Veritas Mea Et Misericordia Mea     
12. Iubilate Deo     
13 Confirma Hoc, Deus     
14. Ave Maria      

Product Details:
Artist: Sistine Chapel Choir,Massimo Palombella
Format: Audio CD
Label: Decca (UMO) Classics
Number Of Discs: 1
Product Group: Music
Publisher: Decca (UMO) Classics
Released Date: July 10, 2016
Running Time: 60
Studio: Decca (UMO) Classics
Title: Palestrina, The Pope And Mercy
UPC: 028947961314