Monday, April 10, 2017

The Leiden Choirbooks. Volume I, CD 1.

New acquisition.
Bought in April 2017.
First listen: 10-4-2017.
Label: Etcetera.
CD 1 from 2.
Recording dates: January 2010.
Recording venue: Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Tom Dunnebier.
Running time: 63:44.
Classical relevance to me: Well worth having.

Composers on this disc:
Thomas Crecquillon.
Benedictus [Appenzeller]
Joachimus de Monte.
Johannes Cleeff.
Christian Hollander.
Johannes Richafort.

Performed by:
Egidius kwartet & College, Peter de Groot.

This set was was bought with a lot of expectations. I have read a lot of positive reviews, and got also very positive reactions from my classical friends around the world. And since this set came really very cheap at a certain moment I decided to buy them all, in total 12 CD'S.
So the first disc was played and my opinion is that there is really no place for a lot of criticism. Performance wise there is is nothing to complain about. The repertoire is excellent, and the choir balance as such perfect. The individual voices are a match to each other, and they blend well together. Choir discipline is quite good too. My only quibble is with the recording, not in the sense that it is bad, on the contrary is actually very good, but the recording favours the altus voices a bit too much. It overpowers at certain places the other voices. The acoustics of this church puts an extra accent and stress on this point.  It's a problem you often hear, but it can be solved by putting the alto voices who often carry the melody, a little bit further away from the microphones. This is how it is done with many choirs I know, and it works wonders. It will however not keep me away from the music. The female voices are pure, and almost without vibrato. I did not hear anything wrong in that department.
Just sample Thomas Crequillon's "Memento salutis auctor-Maria Mater" were all 4 female voices are in full force. Pure and as rigid in bearing as one could wish. I love the music from him very much, always a balm to the ear. I was also impressed by Johannes Richafort's Quem dicunt homines-Petre diligis me, such fine music and perfectly sung.
I am looking forward to disc 2 of this set.




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