MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 58,121 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (ca.1525-1694)
Tu es Petrus [7:12]
Missa Tu es Petrus [30:14]
Sicut Cervus [5:17]
Caro Mea [4:11]
Canite Tuba [6:50]
Improperium Expectavit [4:08]
Surrexit Pastor Bonus [5:52]
Choir of St Luke in the Fields/David Shuler
rec. 2017, St Mary the Virgin, New York
MSR CLASSICS MS1698 [63:43]

The church of St Luke in the Fields dates back to 1820 when it was built in the style of an “English village church” on farmland at Greenwich Village. It was later subsumed within a neighbouring parish, “only regaining its independence in 1976”, after which it promptly burnt down; so the current building really only dates back to 1985. Yet this unassuming and largely overlooked New York church has given birth to a remarkable musical phenomenon. Founded in 1974, the Orchestra of St Luke’s has gone on to become one of the USA’s leading ensembles, long since outgrowing the church in which it gave its first performance and which gave it its name. The church’s choir, however, retains its links with the church, and its director (for the past 20 years), David Shuler, is also the church’s current Director of Music and Organist. Yet, if this recording is anything to go by (and I regret that I have not heard the choir before this) it must stand as one of the USA’s leading specialist choral groups in the field of sacred music. Of course, the recording location has done much to enhance the sense of sheer sumptuousness which informs this entire disc, and since the church itself certainly does not look to have the kind of opulent, generous acoustic we hear on this recording, it’s no surprise that Shuler and his singers moved to another New York church for the recording sessions.

Any successful performance of Palestrina relies on absolute clarity of texture and impeccable balancing of the polyphonic lines. Shuler achieves all that here, and while his singers certainly lack for nothing in clarity of texture and precision of tuning, they also show a remarkable transparency in their diction and a thorough awareness of the interweaving lines. Here is a choir which clearly listens as well as it sings. They avoid the kind of musical waves which so often result from a conscious attempt to trace the ebbing and flowing of the polyphony, yet successfully dovetail the polyphonic intersections. Only in the very opening of the motet Surrexit Pastor Bonus is there the merest hint of a lapse of concentration where some unevenness in tone is momentarily to be heard. Otherwise the vocal blend is magnificent and the balance between these 14 voices excellent.

The recording centres around the large-scale and often complex Missa Tu es Petrus. Perhaps surprisingly, this is not a work overly represented in the current catalogues, and so this excellent performance fills something of a gap. More than that though, Shuler’s feel for this music, his expansive approach which allows the intricately detailed textures plenty of space to breathe and evolve, makes this a highly distinguished performance in its own right.

The remainder of the programme covers some fairly familiar ground – notably the motets Sicut Cervus and Tu es Petrus – as well as some less frequently heard items. All of them are delivered with such a strong sense of stylistic understanding that this could well be the stand-out Palestrina CD of recent times. In short, if you only have one Palestrina disc, this should be it, and if you already have several dozen, you need to add this to your collection. It really is a marvellous display of intelligent and perceptive music-making.

Marc Rochester
 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus