O Vos Omnes: Music for Lent and Holy Week – Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola/ Kent Trittle – MSR Classics

O Vos Omnes: Music for Lent and Holy Week – Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola/ Kent Trittle – MSR Classics MS 1138, 50:43 [Distr. by Albany] ****:

My last review of this ensemble was of Volume XI in their current MSR series.  As you can see in that review, the choir is superb in virtually every category. On hand here we have Volume I, which surprised me until I noticed it is a re-release from 1998, rather short on timing but very high in quality. As you might expect, all you get is very brief sampling of the great repertory for Holy Week and Easter, but the choices are select, and the program brings much enjoyment and, well, peace. The ensemble is small on this recording, mostly eleven members for the majority of the recital, with males-only to the tune of seven on the Lamentations of Tallis and the anonymous O homo considera.

The main event is the Miserere mei, Deus of Allegri, a difficult work sung very well here though not quite at the level of the Tallis Scholars, who seem to own the work, and the aforementioned Tallis Lamentations, though each work given deserves a “greatest hits” appellation in some measure, and it is easy to see why they were chosen for this first album in the cycle. Beautiful singing and great music make for a fine outing, most suitable to the spring religious season.

TrackList:

PALESTRINA: Sicut cervus
GREGORIAN CHANT: Pange lingua
BYRD: Ave verum corpus
VICTORIA: O vos omnes
ANONYMOUS: O homo considera
ALLEGRI: Miserere
TALLIS: Lamentations of Jeremiah; O sacrum convivium

—Steven Ritter

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