Barry Witherden
BBC Music Magazine
April 2008

The Golden Age of Iberian arts and culture effectively began with the reclamation of Granada from the Moors in 1492 and fizzled out sometime late in the seventeenth century. In recent years many early music groups have been re-discovering the rich storehouse of Renaissance and Baroque music composed in the Hispanic colonies of South and Central America, and here The King's Singers draw on music from Mexico as well as Spain and Portugal.

The recital focuses on music of lamentation, both for death and for humankind's wilful separation from God. Simple and subtly-gleaming like the lamp over a church tabernacle, Crux Fidelis, composed by King John IV of Portugal, opens the programme perfectly. If it's a cliché to draw parallels between the music and the dark, rich interiors of the time, it's nonetheless a useful one. In these performances the colours pulse with the glow of a fire controlled, tended and kept ready rather than with the bright radiance of the heavens. The King's Singers perform with their customary clarity of line, rhythmic grace and attention to texture.