Biblical texts of lamentation were embraced by composers of the late Renaissance for their artistic and expressive potential. But in Portugal – a kingdom without a king, its people governed by a foreign power – such settings gave life, as well, to a rich expression of covert political commentary.
Rory McCleery’s ongoing interest in this field of polyphony bears fruit for the first time in a ground-breaking programme. Many of these Portuguese composers are known, if at all, for a very few pieces. Once again, McCleery and his Consort make a clarion call for music that it deserves, and with their advocacy should now receive far wider recognition.