Mining the rich musical seam of the Low Countries, Stephen Rice and The Brabant Ensemble have once again unearthed sixteenth-century treasure in the works of Lupus Hellinck and Johannes Lupi.
Salve celeberrima virgo receives a consummately-crafted reading, its tangy false relations’ never exaggerated or attention-seeking. The Mass, too, opens with a poised precision, every note suspended within a texture quietly reverential rather than overly emotional The leave-taking of the Agnus Dei is deeply affecting, and the euphonious swirling of the Osanna enchants. Over the course of the disc, however, a certain expressive uniformity prevails. BBC ****/*****
Forget the glamour of Hollywood’s Rat Pack, the 16th century had a Wolf Pack of musicians whose names derive from the Latin lupus. The two composers on this disc may not be the best known but their music can be as suave and smooth as anything sung by ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’ himself...The real highlight of this disc is Johannes Lupi’s (c1506-1539) Marian motet Salve celeberrima virgo: a rich, velvety texture thrillingly permeated with the spirit of Gombert. Gramophone
I could hardly wish for a more beautiful realisation of the music here... The Brabant Ensemble make a very fine noise indeed. MusicWeb