Music for Milan Cathedral

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Milan Cathedral acted as a magnet to many of the finest composers of the time. Yet the Cathedral's maestro di cappella for almost thirty years, Hermann Matthias Werrecore, is almost completely unknown to us today.

Why was he forgotten? Did his Flemish origins mean he was never properly adopted by his Milanese congregation? Did his later reputation suffer from confusion with his countryman Matthias Le Maistre?

Six of Werrecore's surviving motets are presented here the first time any of his sacred music has been recorded. They are heard alongside works by composers Werrecore knew, drawn mostly from the holdings of the Milan library during his tenure there. Siglo de Oro's act of rediscovery reveals the exceptional quality of the music, and Patrick Allies directs them in performances of extraordinary flair.

"Plumbing deep wells of spiritual devotion, this music meets its match in poised, committed performances of simultaneous unanimity and character … Six elegant masterly, creatively scored motets by Hermann Werrecore appear in their world premier recordings as the rarest delicacies in a flavoursome menu of works from the maestri of 16th-century Milan."

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The smooth, honeyed sound of Siglo de Oro is largely due to the soft and clear sheen of their radiant sopranos...Most fascinating on this album are the contrasting settings of Inviolata, integra et casta by Werrecore and Josquin, which show a huge attention to detail in performance.To portray effectively such ranges of polyphonic textures is really exciting: this is a hugely impressive disc in both programming and performance."

"The 13 youthful voices of Siglo de Oro produce a fresh, ingenuous sound. Their timbre is open and expressive – the use of vibrato adding a tremulous urgency to some of the more emotive passages. Allies shapes the architecture of the large-scale musical edifices with admirable control"

"Expressive variety is well supplied both inWerrecore’s compositions and in very fine interpretations by the Siglo de Oro mixed vocal ensemble…Fervent joy is clear in 'Inviolata, Integra Et Casta Es Maria’ honoring the Purification of the Virgin Mary; and fine delicate solo lines animate 'Ave Maris Stella’."


"The performances by Siglo de Oro under Patrick Allies are radiant: ideally balanced and paced to perfection, they shed Mediterranean light upon this already outstanding repertory."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): Merton College, Oxford
Recording dates: 22-24 April 2019
Physical format: Jewel Case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 11
Release date: 29 November 2019
Total playing time: 1:06:28
Album ID: DCD34224

You may also like ...