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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Devotions and Lamentations
Devotion to Our Lady 52.16
Mystery of the Cross 76.16
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
rec St Judes on the Hill, Hampstead, 1997
2CDs [128.32]
Bargain price (around £6 per disc)

This is music making of the highest quality … and at bargain price! Victoria effortlessly passes from spiritual to temporal, sacred to profane. The music of the first disc has a honeyed purity redolent of Monteverdi's more lascivious a cappella works and in grandeur approaching Tallis's Spem In Alium. Apart from the seemingly insecure male solo in Credo (track 4 CD1) the singing is fine. The choir is sensitive to nuance and dynamic contrast. Speaking of dynamics the physical impact of the surging voices in the Sanctus was deeply impressive. A pristine Benedictus and a very lovely (and modern) Alma Redemptoris Mater pave the way for the translucent descanted alleluias in the Magnificat. Just glorious! The second CD is a more austere affair altogether and I found this plainer and ascetic coming as close as it gets to sensuous in the ethereal heights of Lectio III in the Lamentations for Maundy Thursday. The notes are acceptably detailed and the excellent recording was made in a resonant stone acoustic.

Rob Barnett


Ian Lace

Len Mullenger

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