Musica Celestial CDFeaturing Chicago Talent

Newberry’s nuns highlight recent classical albums

“Musica Celestial from the Covent of the Encarnacion.” (Newberry Consort): The manuscript source of this attractive program of Renaissance and baroque rarities for women’s voices, organ and other instruments is six valuable choir books preserved at Chicago’s Newberry Library. Written for the singing nuns of the Order of the Immaculate Conception in Mexico City, the pieces suggest the richly diverse musical culture that was enshrined in the convents. Performances under the direction of soprano Ellen Hargis are fully worthy of the material, none more striking than the luminous eight-voice polyphony of Fabian Perez Ximeno’s “Dixit Dominus,” the album’s central work.

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