Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

English Royal Funeral Music, Vox Luminis, Lionel Meunier

If you were present for the funeral of England's Queen Mary in 1695, you would have heard what is recreated for us on Vox Luminis's English Royal Funeral Music (Ricercar 322). Also on the compilation is music from the 1603 funeral of Elizabeth I. The excellent sonics of Vox Luminis under Lionel Meunier are supplemented by the worthy original instrument ensembles Les Trompettes des Plaisirs and Lingua Franca.

The composers represented here are Purcell, Paisible, Tollett, Morley, Weelkes and Tomkins. A capella anthems, funeral hymns, marches (for oboes and drums), a virginal piece, brass ensembles, all come together to create a marvelous tapestry of intimate sorrow and outward pomp, beautiful lamentations and stately mournful airs.

The Vox Luminis choral group sound movingly resonant. You hear why their previous recording won them the 2012 Gramophone Recording of the Year. And the original instrument ensembles sound equally appropriate.

It's a sonic marvel, a choral and instrumental treasure one wants to return to repeatedly with great satisfaction. Early music performance as state-of-the-art. Recommended!

1 comment: