About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“I grew up listening to Lessons & Carols from Cambridge and that was Advent-Christmas for me. Then I moved to Rome and discovered Rorate Masses, the Novena of the Immaculate Conception with the Tota Pulchra, the Christmas Novena, the O Antiphons, the Aspiciens, the Rorate Coeli, the Alma Redemptoris Mater: that's Advent for me now. I am glad to see seminarians all over the United States doing Lessons & Carols, but are they learning our ancient Roman traditions alongside a 20th-century Anglican one?”
— Rev. Christopher Smith

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In Search Of Polyphonic Recordings By Good Choirs
published 25 May 2013 by Jeff Ostrowski

I am looking to add a few CDs to my collection of Renaissance polyphony recordings. Can you help me? Here are the criteria:

1. Must have been composed between 1530 and 1600.

If most of the pieces on the recording are between those dates, we’re good!

2. No instruments, please.

Just FYI, I’ve heard all the arguments for and against accompanying Renaissance polyphony with instruments.

3. Lesser known pieces and composers would be appreciated.

I don’t desire another recording of Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli.

4. Really, really good choirs.

If possible, no amateur choirs. Thanks!

5. Please don’t say Tallis Scholars.

While I admire many things about the Tallis Scholars, many of their recordings sound “top heavy” to my ears. In other words, the soprano lines are way out of proportion with the other voices. My concept of “polyphony” is that all the voices are more or less equal. I don’t like when the soprano section predominates. Somebody told me the director of the Tallis Scholars is married to one of the main soprano singers, but I’ve never been able to verify this. If true, maybe that explains it.

6. Don’t be shy!

Please let me know your suggestions in the combox below. Thanks! I owe you one!