Early music recording climbing the charts in Britain

The latest "hit" on British pop music charts is not a rap song, but a 450-year-old Italian Renaissance mass recorded by the British vocal group I Fagiolini.

The music, by Alessandro Striggio, is a mass written for 40 different vocal parts, but this version uses "five choirs and a panoply of period instruments, from trombone-like sackbuts to the 11-stringed lirone, a cello precursor, as well as lutes, recorders and Renaissance strings."

"We really worked hard so that there could be a properly magnificent and extravagant sound world for the piece to revel in," I Fagiolini's conductor and founder Robert Hollingworth, 44, who thinks the mass has a "mesmeric" quality, told Reuters in a telephone interview Sunday.