The latest round belongs to Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599), a Sevillian who had a deliciously supple tenor voice, a choirmaster and composer whose only goal in life was to present music that ennobled the spiritual aspects of his hearers. A pupil of Morales, and contemporary of Victoria, he spent most of his life in Spain, unlike these more cosmopolitan influences who spent a great deal of time in Italy. His contrapuntal skills are not unlike those of Palestrina, but he writes with a fresh native lyricism and soothing melodic style that is immediately attractive and reverent, and his efforts gained him fame all over Europe, where he also achieved publishing success.
The main work here presented is the Missa Surge propera (‘Rise up, make haste’), the only one of his 18 setting of the mass to use six voices. The work has a solid harmonic foundation so that the counterpoint is never ending, and the sonority always full and fulsome. The seven remaining motets are stylistically quite different from the mass, but wonderfully serene and contemplative. Particularly successful are the Marian motets, and Guererro was known far and wide for these as one of his specialties.
This Super Audio disc lives up to all expectations and is fully faithful to the Tallis sound. There is little to complain about when faced with such beauteous sounds rendered so harmoniously.
— Steven Ritter