Manuel Cardoso was born in Fronteira, in southern Portugal, in 1566 and died in 1650. A Carmelite friar who had studied liturgical and choir music at the Colégio dos Moços do Coro under Manuel Mendes and Cosme Delgado. Together with With Duarte Lobo and John IV of Portugal he’s considered to represent the "golden age" of Portuguese polyphony. This school together with the English and the Polish continued to support composers of unaccompanied choral music long after the Italians and the French had moved on. That isn’t to say they weren’t influenced by the newer style they were, Cardoso’s music for example is clearly influenced by Baroque music which makes for some interesting and very lovely music. In this requiem you can hear suggestions of Baroque harmony right from the start yet the polyphony could well have been written a hundred years previously. It’s a piece that’s well worth listening with long melodic lines and the chant being carried by the sopranos rather than the tenors. If you haven’t heard Cardoso before but like choral music you’ll find the time listening to this is well spent. Don’t let the fact that it’s a requiem put you off either it’s a serene piece of music sung with conviction by The Tallis Scholars’ whose singing sunshine is enchanced by the acoustic of the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, Norfolk. Enjoy :-)
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