Following the success of the first volume in their Palestrina series which won the International Classical Music Award for Early Music, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen release the second recording in the series which has a Christmas theme. Palestrina was born in 1525 not far from Rome, in the town whose name he bore and from which we take the cover images for this series of discs. Possibly the greatest composer of liturgical music of all time, Palestrina was a towering figure in Renaissance polyphony. Choral singers world-wide will know his Missa Papae Marcelli (recorded by The Sixteen on COR16014) as, without doubt, it is the most renowned of Palestrinas works and possibly the most famous mass of all time. Each volume in this series is based around a single mass and theme relevant to that mass, in this case the Nativity and the festive Motet and Mass Hodie Christus Natus Est. The mass features alongside some of his settings of the Song of Songs as well as the Magnificat Quinti toni and Motet O magnum mysterium.
The Sixteen let the music speak for itself. --Gramophone, Christmas '12
Beautifully sung- as we would expect from one of Britain's most accomplished and consistently impressive choirs and presented with the perfect mix of academic rigour and communicative zeal which elevates every one of the recordings into a true art in its own right. --IRR, Dec'12
The Sixteen are at their best in jubliant passages of celebration such as those in the motet Hodie Christus where there is exhultation at Christ's birth.In the Osanna we find something beyond mere noisy joyfulness; the bright, fluid soprano voices construct crystal clear patterns which can then be deftly followed by the rest of the choir. Performance **** Recording *** --BBC Music Magazine, Feb'13