Cardoso’s serene, flowing polyphony with its forward-looking use of augmented chords is heard at its most striking in the Magnificat, while his Lamentatio for six voices is touchingly beautiful. Remarkably eloquent singing from this fine Danish choir and good recording in a suitably ecclesiastical acoustic.
Filipe de Magalhães was the youngest of the three great Portuguese composers who all became pupils of Manuel Mendes (c. 1547–1605) at Evora in eastern Portugal. The others, Cardoso and Lôbo, are also represented in this outstanding concerto, but Magalhães was reputedly the favourite pupil. Once can see why, listening to his highly individual writing in both the Mass O Soberana luz and the two hardly less memorable motets, Vidi aquam (‘I beheld the water’) and Commissa mea pavesco (‘I tremble at my sins’) with its instantly and the lovely Bendedictus is equally affecting, only to be capped by the Agnus Dei. The Danish performances are wonderfully eloquent and the recording, made at Kasterskirken, Copenhagen, has an ideal ambience and is beautifully clear.
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