Detailing many an inspiring performance, this release celebrates the rich musical heritage of St Mark’s Basilica through a selection of liturgical works – all of which were written by composers employed at the cathedral during the 16th and 17th centuries. The release takes as its starting point Giovanni Croce, a Venetian who became maestro di cappella in 1603 and who was highly influenced by the other composers on the set – including Giovanni Bassano and Giovanni Gabrieli. Featuring items from the Divine Office, such as Andrea Gabrieli’s motet ‘Angelus ad pastores’ (which would have followed the reading of a psalm) and Willaert’s ‘O magnum mysterium’ (a responsory to be sung during Matins at Christmas), the compilation also documents excerpts from the Mass – including Giovanni Gabrieli’s ‘Jubilate Deo’. By far the largest work, however, is Croce’s Missa sopra la battaglia (Mass on the Battle), composed in 1596 to honour the day of victory against the Ottoman Turks in 1571. Using several choruses as well as a rich instrumental consort, Croce’s Mass shows how richly developed was the music at St Mark’s by the end of the 16th century. Its glorious traditions continue, as we can hear from the current choir and instrumentalists of St Mark’s, Cappella Marciana.