A welcome return to Hyperion for Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore, whose exuberant recordings of Baroque music from around the world have made them one of the best-loved ensembles of today.
This latest release presents the music of Giovanni Gabrieli in his four-hundredth anniversary year. These magnificent liturgical settings from the heart of the Venetian polychoral tradition are full of drama, wonder and extraordinary spatial effects. His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts and Concerto Palatino provide the sonic gilding that would have been an essential part of the original performances, when extra musicians crowded the galleries of St Mark’s for special occasions.
Ex Cathedra join with one 'supergroup' of a Renaissance wind band, formed by His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts and Concerto Palatino. When all combine with organ continuo, the latters' tuning gives a special charge to some of those trademark chords...when Ex Cathedra sing as a choir, as in the extended Litany, even Gabrieli's most staid oratory communicates with fervour. Gramophone
This is a splendid set of performances. The singing is consistently animated and expert while the instrumental contributions are equally fine. Skidmore and his splendid, committed performers, helped by the engineers, realise the spaciousness of Gabrieli’s music to really good effect. They’re equally successful whether the music is subdued and prayerful or uninhibitedly extrovert. MusicWeb
the performers marvelously project the power, glory and praise of this music. BBC ***