Lassus Masses and Motets
If contemporary audience reaction can be taken as an accurate guide to such matters, then Orlande de Lassus must be reckoned the most successful and widely celebrated composer of his day. The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford has a long and distinguished tradition stretching back to its foundation by Cardinal Wolsey when John Taverner was the first director of music. Under its present director Stephen Darlington the Choir records exclusively for Nimbus and following a successful disc of works by Palestrina (NI5100) they now turn their attention to his great Renaissance contemporary Lassus.
"His (Lassus') early four-voice Missa Venatorum is unbelievably short - on paper it looks pathetic; but the Christ Church choir make it a work that rewards repeated listening. It is crammed full of telling detail. The recording sounds a little bright, but that is presumably on purpose: it helps to keep the music transparent and the texts clear ... the singing emphatically suggests that Christ Church may well be our best choir for sixteenth-century polyphony."
David Fallows, Gramophone