Bath gets two performances of newly discovered Striggio mass
Date: February 24, 2012
BATH, UK -- One of the most remarkable musical stories of the 21st century was the rediscovery in a Paris library of a fantastic 40 and 60 part mass written in the 16th century by the Italian composer Alessandro Striggio.
Like the better known and later motet by Thomas Tallis, Spem in Alium, which is also for 40 voices, the mass, which lasts nearly 30 minutes, is for 40 separate voices and instruments all singing completely different parts at the same time although for the final Agnus Dei it is cranked up to a staggering 60 different parts. The mass had been wrongly attributed and marked simply as a mass for 'four' rather than '40' voices. The work was rediscovered just a few years ago after years of painstaking research and had its first airing probably for some 500 years in 2007.
Robert Hollingworth and his internationally acclaimed band I Fagiolini have made a sumptuous recording of the Ecco si beato giorno mass with singers and musicians which you can listen to on YouTube. The great news for Bath is that later this year we will be hearing two very different versions of this astonishing mass and both within just a few weeks of each other.