• Five star review from BBC Music Magazine


    To mark the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco, Ensemble Plus Ultra presents a gallery of sacred vocal works by composers associated with the

    painter's adoptive city, Toledo. Among its many treasures are Alonso Lobo's transcendent motet Versa est in Luctum, written for the obsequies of Philip II of Spain – its profoundly mournful sentiments imbued with a sense of raw, private grief, in contrast with the many larger-scale choral performances – and the Lamentation Expandit Sion manus suas by Morales, the plangent, arching lines of which are hauntingly shaped in this account. A setting of King David's lament on the death of his son Absalom by little-known composer Alonso de Tejeda plumbs the depths of human grief in its tenebrous colours and madrigalesque dissonances, starkly highlighted by individual voices here. The veil of mourning lifts for the centrepiece of the disc, Lobo's five-voice Missa Prudentes virgines. Thanks to the ensemble’s modest resources, the contrapuntal brilliance of the Mass shines through, notably in the complex canonic Hosannas, where the delivery is clean and agile, the texture never muddied by the wash of sound produced by a large choir (though the lower voices are a shade distant in the balance). The effect is still opulent: texts are painted with a vivid dynamic range and (dare I say it?) the occasional expressive vibrato – a far-cry from what has been denigrated as the 'white- washed' tone of English vocal ensembles. The results – intimate yet intense – are a fitting reflection of Counter-Reformation ethos, epitomised in the turbulent works of El Greco.
  • EPU releases new album on Deutsche Grammophon


    2014 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of artist El Greco. To mark this anniversary, Ensemble Plus Ultra, the award winning British vocal ensem

    ble, have released a new album of music with a connection to the city of Toledo, where El Greco spent 37 years of his life living and working. The disc is the latest release from Ensemble Plus Ultra on the Deutsche Grammophon label, and follows their hugely successful 10 CD box set of the music of Tomas Luis de Victoria, which won the Gramophone Award for Early Music in 2012. On the new album composers including Cristóbal do Morales, Alonso Lobo, Alonso de Tejeda and Francisco Guerrero are featured, and many of the tracks are world premier recordings. It was featured as 'Album of the Week' on Classic FM last week by John Suchet.
  • EPU recording is Classic FM Album of the Week


    Our new recording, From Spain to Eternity is featured this week as John Suchet’s Album of the Week on Classic FM. Just after 10am each morning John wi

    ll play a different track from the new album, due for release by Deutsche Grammophon on 2 June 2014. More details about the disc will appear on the website soon.
  • Ensemble Plus Ultra films Morales in Toledo Cathedral


    Ensemble Plus Ultra were in Toledo in Spain during April to film sections of masses and magnificats by Cristóbal de Morales (who was Maestro de Capell

    a at the Cathedral in Toledo). In addition, the Ensemble provided the music at a Requiem mass on the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco, attended by Spanish dignitaries and over 1000 local Toledans. This mass was the centrepiece of a year long festival marking the anniversary of the artists death.
  • Recital and Reception at Spanish Embassy in London


    The Spanish Ambassador to London hosted a recital and reception at the residence of the Spanish Embassy in London prior to Ensemble Plus Ultra perform

    ing at a special requiem mass to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco in Toledo. The Ensemble sang music from its new album 'From Spain to Eternity', and an invited audience of Anglo-Spanish dignitaries enjoyed a reception of fine Spanish food and wine.
  • Ensemble Plus Ultra USA Tour 2013


    Ensemble Plus Ultra will return to the United States in November 2013 for another tour, with performances and workshops in Boston, New York and Charlo

    ttesville. For further information, and details of performance dates please see our diary page.
  • Watch Ensemble Plus Ultra performing Victoria’s Nigra Sum sed formosa


  • Watch Ensemble Plus Ultra performing Victoria’s O quam gloriosum


  • Listen to Victoria’s Ascendens Christus


  • Listen to an audio clip of Ensemble Plus Ultra singing Asperges me by Morales



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