GUERRERO: MISSA CONGRATULAMINI MIHI
by The Guardian (Andrew Clements - 5 August 2010)
Francisco Guerrero composed 18 mass settings, five of which were based on other composers’ works. Missa Congratulamini mihi is one of those so-called parody masses, using almost every morsel of Thomas Crecquillon’s setting of Mary Magdalene’s meeting with the risen Christ as source material for some part or other of the work.
The Cardinall’s Musick adds Crecquillon’s motet as an appendix to the five-part mass, and surrounds those two works with other settings by Guerrero sharing the Easter theme. Two motets develop the Easter story – Maria Magdalena et altera Maria is a straightforward narrative of Mary Magdalene’s visit to Christ’s tomb; Post Dies Octa describes Christ’s appearance to the disciples – while a couple of settings of the antiphon Regina coeli, a sumptuous eight-part Ave Maria, and Dum Esset Rex, in honour of Mary Magdalene, complete the collection. All are delivered with the combination of superb ensemble, and perfectly characterised vocal lines that is the persistent hallmark of this outstanding group; the sound is rich, full and gently resonant.