Bartlomiej Pekiel: Ave Maria, Missa Concertata La Lombardesca, Audite mortales
This disc is conducted by The Sixteen’s Associate Conductor, Eamonn Dougan. Polish-born Pekiel was one of the most respected composers of choral music of the 17th Century. There are only 29 of his works surviving today, 16 of which are sung here by the formidable Sixteen. The pieces are beautiful; track four has elements of Lotti’s famous Crucifixus. The parts form a canonical round with long magical suspensions and cadences accompanied by theorbo. It is six minutes of pure indulgence!
The use of old instruments adds to the effect of originality, from the sackbut to theorbo, and viols merge well with the sensitive voices of the choir.
Whilst all the tracks are of a sacred nature, one can appreciate them without needing a spiritual influence. The nature of this simplistic sounding, yet very complex, writing is unlikely to be lost on a listener.
You simply will not be disappointed by this disc. TheSixteen never fail to produce a superb recording, and they have proved this yet again with this album.
Certainly this is one for the list of ‘must have’ discs. I was also pleasantly surprised by Eamonn Dougan’s direction, having only experienced Harry Christophers’ previously.