The Scotsman

If anything points to Flemish-born Giaches de Wert's undersung influence on the great Monteverdi – he was Monteverdi's predecessor and mentor at Mantua—it is the title track of this exquisite new release by that sublime subset of Stephen Cleobury's Kings College Cambridge Chapel Choir, Collegium Regale. Its moody opening—deep set and teasingly chromatic—is like a premonition of Monteverdi's Hades music in Orfeo, which he was to compose only a decade after de Wert's death. The motets on this disc, all from his late Secondo Libro, are fascinating in their diversity, both in length (Hora est iam nos is Wagnerian in comparison with the brief and sprightly Gaudete in Domino) and in emotive heat. There may be many who feel they've had it with the screeds of Renaissance composers unearthed and recorded in recent decades, but De Wert is most definitely worth it.