Sixteenth-century Spanish composer Francisco Guerrero is featured in a reissued disc of motets for four, five, six, eight and 12 voices, with and without instruments. They come from a handful of collections published between 1555 and 1597 and show Guerrero’s skill in evoking a wide range of moods, joyful, sombre and contemplative in turn. Jordi Savall’s ensemble is well-equipped to project the skilfully wrought structures and expressive allure of the music. Some of the pieces fare better than others in respect of vocal texture and ensemble. Tenors and basses occasionally lack tonal refinement but, at their strongest the performances provide a radiant conspectus of Guerrero’s masterly motets.
Handel: Opera Seria is the third solo recital disc to come from soprano Sandrine Piau on Naïve Classique. In this instance, Piau is taking on the opera arias of ye big, bald, and perpetually peruked master of musicke, George Frideric Handel. Here Piau receives the sumptuous support of Les Talens Lyriques, led with expertise and good tempo choices by Christophe Rousset, so this setting invites nothing of the controversy sparked by the clunky Érard piano employed by Jos van Immerseel in Piau's previous offering of Debussy: Mélodies.