This is a CD reissue of a 1978 LP and stands up well fidelity-wise. In order to fill out the short playing time of the LP, a work by a modern composer has been added: Sacco’s Three Psalms for Brass Quintet and Tenor Voice. The early works are all Canzons for brass from the 16th century – many of them performed in the reverberant venues of cathedrals such as St. Marks in Venice. The first section of selections are four and five part works and the second portion is devoted to eight part music. The performers are superb, with no semi-off-pitch glitches to be heard anywhere in this often difficult-to-play music.
It was the Gabrieli brass canzons which elicted my first interest in early music and I still find them fascinating – a mysteriously ancient sort of sound yet in some ways very modern and almost avant garde. This sort of spatial music cries out for surround sound, and even with the processing probably required for the remastering, there is quite a bit of ambient information which can be decoded with ProLogic II for a surround effect.