Palestrina: Missa Brevis; Missa Lauda Sion

Two elegant mass settings for choir by the master of polyphony

Two mass settings by Giovanni da Palestrina. The Missa Brevis (“Short Mass”) is remarkably melodic and pleasurable; Missa Lauda Sion, a holy day mass for Corpus Christi, borrows from an earlier motet of the same name, characteristic of Palestrina’s fashion to borrow from within his oeuvre.

“Lauda Sion is, in Pro Cantione Antiqua’s sober and elegant account, hardly less beautiful than the Brevis… Slightly plangent countertenor complements the minor inflexions of this major-mode work… but there is nothing tentative in the delivery. The final Agnus is especially beautiful with its added voice in the middle. Further recordings of this work are unlikely to displace this all-male, solo-voice approach… The plainchant relevant to each Mass is beautifully rendered and unobtrusive, and the recording has a full presence whilst not too close.” (Gramophone)

THREE STARS – Penguin Guide