But as good as the madrigals and the motets were, they were merely the prologue to Palestrina's Pope Marcellus Mass. Although Palestrina is far from my favorite composer of polyphonic masses give me Ockeghem or Josquin Vox's performance was simply stunning. The ease of their ensemble, the assurance of their intonation, the gracefulness of the rhythm, the beauty of their tone: these things could be taken for granted. The calm concentration, the tranquil intensity, the still sublimity of their Pope Marcellus was sweet joy.
Vox's season concludes with a concert of Renaissance elegies on Saturday, March 9, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Don't miss it.
[Originally published in March, 2002.]