By a remarkable and (for this dedicated music lover) serendipitous coincidence, just as Harry Christophers's magical choir, The Sixteen, arrived in Perth a fortnight ago for the latest stop on their current Choral Pilgrimage, along with the attendant recent recording of the repertoire, a new recording from another great choir working in the same area of Renaissance music, Philip Cave's Magnificat, was released on Linn Records.
Whereas The Sixteen's programme (which returns to Scotland in October) was tightly focused on three composers - Sheppard, Mundy and Davy - Magnificat's repertoire on their absolutely beautiful new disc is broader, including the major Mundy pieces. What this does is give the listener a fascinating insight into the different performing styles of both groups. Magnificat's approach, in their own words, is "poised and expressive", whereas The Sixteen's characteristic approach is more dynamic and open. The differences are as enthralling as they are revealing. Well worth investigating.
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