Friday, February 28, 2014

De Morales: O Magnum Mysterium -- Christmas motets for all seasons

Crisobal de Morales
O Magum Mysterium
Christmas Motets
Manfred Cordes, director

Cristobal de Morales was called "the light of Spain in music" and with good reason, as this new release demonstrates. Morales' counterpoint is transparent, and his settings easy to follow and understand. His music is both deeply expressive and ethereal in its beauty.

This release presents fourteen of Morales' Christmas motets, but they're works that can be enjoyed for their on intrinsic merits any time of year. The Weser-Renaissance ensemble, directed by Manfred Cordes,  performs in an almost self-effacing manner, with clean, unwavering tones. This clarity gives these works an almost other-worldly purity that I think captures the essence of Morales' intent.

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