Noël Akchoté – William Byrd: Masses For 3-5 Voices (1591-93), (For Guitar)
French Guitarist Noël Akchoté has not met a page of sheet music he did not like. So, it is proper that he join the chorus of other groups in celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the death of English Renaissance composer William Byrd (1540-1623). Akchoté shows no fear regarding his recording material, even Renaissance and Baroque choral music which he spent much of 2022-2023 addressing. Translation of the ethereal human voice into the guitar is a trick that Akchoté relished.
Akchoté performs these masses on a Gibson ES-175-D using no sonic effects. The performed music has a stark and even sharp presence that manifests with crystalline tenderness as heard on Mass for 5 Voices, Kyrie Eleison-Christe for the Credo from Mass for 3 Voices. Akchoté brings a street-level sense to this music, which one could imagine hearing as part of a soundtrack to a solemn prayer. It is always interesting to hear what he is up to next.