Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Fri, 14 Jun 2024 17:25:51 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Airs de Cour et Chansons Satiriques (16è et 17è siècles) [1972] Airs de Cour et Chansons Satiriques (16è et 17è siècles) [1972]

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Side 1:    23:06

Clément Janequin: Il était une fillette (16e siècle)
Gabriel Bataille: Un satyre cornu (17e siècle)
Jehan Planson: Chamberière, chamberière (1587)
Nicolas de la Grotte: J'ay bien mal choisi (16e siècle)
Adrian le Roy: Suite (1568)
Adrian le Roy: Has-tu point veu ce grand vilain? (1571)
Gabriel Bataille: Un jour que ma rebelle (17e siècle)
Gabriel Bataille: Fous, taisez-vous (17e siècle)

Side 2:    20:56

Robert Ballard: Air grave (1611)
J. Perichon: Courante (1610)
Robert Ballard: Ballets 1 et 11 (1611)
Adrian le Roy; Arcadelt: Qui pourra dire la douleur? (16e siècle)
Anonymous: L'avènement de Mme de Montespan (1666)
Anonymous: Le bout de M. d'Argenson (1698)
Anonymous: C'est un amant, ouvrez la porte (17e siècle)
Gabriel Bataille: Ma bergère, non légère (17e siècle)
Anoniem: la chasse donnée à Mazarin (1649)
Pierre Attaingnant: Danseries à 4 parties (1547)

Ars Antiqua de Paris:
Joseph Sage - counter-tenor and percussion; 
Michel Sanvoisin - flute, musette, crooked horn, epinette 
G. Robert - lutes (soprano and tenor), baroque guitar 
M. Reculard and J. Reculard - viola da gamba

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:58:05 +0000
Al Ayre Español - Quarenta horas (1999) Al Ayre Español - Quarenta horas (1999)

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1.    José de Torres - Arpon que glorioso
2.    Antonio Literes - (El) pan de los cielos
3.    Antonio Literes - Fieras que el monte habitais
4.    José de Torres - Canten afectos
5.    José de Torres - Perlas, luzes
6.    Antonio Literes - Ven a venerar afecto mio
7.    José de Torres - (Un) relox
8.    Joseph de San Juan - Pan de angeles
9.    Andense en flores
10.  José de Torres - Si ves moverse las piedras
11.  Joseph de San Juan -  (Una) noche que los reyes

Al Ayre Español (Ensemble)
Eduardo Lopéz Banzo - Conductor


This is the sixth recording in Al Ayre Espanol's Barroco Espanol series for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and is no less fascinating than its predecessors. The title 'Quarenta Horas' refers to the liturgical ceremony of the Forty Hours' devotion to the Eucharist; this was not exclusive to Spain, but was celebrated with special reverence and great assiduity in the Spanish royal chapel during the 17th and 18th centuries. However, this is not an attempt at a reconstruction of the liturgy, which was spread over three days, but a selection of vocal pieces in the vernacular that would have been sung during the quiet period of contemplation which followed the processions and Mass held on the first two days.

At least, all but two of the villancicos and cantatas on this CD are dedicated to the 'Most Holy' and contemplate the Eucharist through complex, even abstruse metaphors and conceits. It is not clear why the other two pieces - for Holy Week and Epiphany - are included, although this last, a 1ively jacara full of humour and irresistible castanet-punctuated rhythms, would serve well as an encore. Eduardo Lopez Banzo and his team seem to feel most at home with this sort of repertory, and deliver it with the panache that has drawn the group to the attention of the recording world.

Elsewhere the performances are less convincing, having a highly polished veneer, but lacking substance. To be fair, not all of the music by Torres, Literes and Joseph de San Juan is of equal quality, but at times there is a feeling that at least some of the pieces were taken into a recording studio before they had really been played in, and the cracks are papered over by an excess of guitar strumming and a sense of vitality manufactured by adrenalin rushes on the part of the director. This tends to rock the tempo (and ensemble) at certain moments, but also raises potentially more serious questions of interpretation. The performance of villancicos with such drive and energy is certainly one of the hallmarks of Al Ayre Espanol, but the texts of many of these pieces - and very probably the context in which they were sung and heard - seem to be at odds with such a persistently upbeat interpretative stance. At times I found myself craving a calmer, more spacious approach, glimpses of which were to be had in some of the solo singing, notably in Carlos Mena's poised account of Literes's very Italianate cantata Ven a venerar afecto mio, and in Jordi Ricart's more detailed response to the words in Torres's villancico Andense en flores. Here the plucked string accompaniment was expressive, and lively without being frenetic.

I do not wish to be overly critical, because there was much that I enjoyed on this disc, which in many ways is well up to the high standards we have come to expect from this group. But it did leave me feeling uneasy, possibly because Lopez Banzo seems to have created an Al Ayre Espanol approach so distinctive that it is in danger of becoming fixed in a number of cliches, very attractive ones, but nevertheless potentially limiting. ---Tess Knighton,


Al Ayre Español is a vocal and instrumental ensemble specialized on early music founded in 1988 by Eduardo López Banzo (harpsichordist).

The name of the ensemble was inspired by the title for a guitar Fugue of the Calanda (Aragón) composer, Gaspar Sanz. In this Fugue he indicated the musician to play with "ayre español" (in the Spanish way).

Banzo has done a great deal to restore the Spanish Baroque musical heritage and in recognition of this work, the group was awarded the Premio Nacional de Música by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. In 2004, Al Ayre Español became an orchestra, broadening out their repertory to encompass much of the European Baroque.

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Tue, 28 Nov 2017 15:41:46 +0000
Concert donné en la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris 1966 (Emile Martin) Concert donné en la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris 1966 (Emile Martin)

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1  Andrea Gabrieli:     Canzone 1 	3:16
2  Tomás Luis de Victoria:     O vos omnes	7:39
3  Claudio Monteverdi:     Adoramus  	5:47
4  Antonio Lotti:     Crucifixus 	4:06
5  Andrea Gabrieli:     Canzone 2 	2:35
6  Claudio Monteverdi:     Christe adoramus 	5:30
7  Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina:  Messe du Pape Marcel: Agnus Dei 1+2 	9:47
8  Andrea Gabrieli:     Imploration pour un temps de détresse 	7:33

Les Chanteurs de St. Eustache 
Le Quintette de Cuivres de Paris
Emile Martin - director
Pierre Cochereau, organ Notre-Dame de Paris


Since its founding in 1944 by Révérend Père Émile Martin, of the Oratory, the Chanteurs de Saint-Eustache (= CDSE; Singers of Saint-Eustache) has given more than 1,000 concerts and numerous recordings, many of which have won the Grand Prix du Disque. The Choir has participated in more than 20 festivals in France and Europe. The keep a musical tradition that goes back to the edification of the church of Saint-Eustache, over 350 years ago.

The singularity of the CDSE lies in the diversity of its repertoire ranging from works of thFranco-Flemish of 14th century to large symphonic works of the 19th and 20th centuries. The compositions of Monteverdi, Orlando di Lasso, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Vittoria are in the programme of Sunday Masses and some concerts. This intimacy with the polyphonic repertoire, itself derived from the monody, marks the interpretation of all the works, in any time they are the seal of the liturgical tradition. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:55:24 +0000
Dance Music of the French Renaissance (1995) Dance Music of the French Renaissance (1995)

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1. 	Praetorius : Branles de village
2. 	Gervaise - Attaingnant: Bransle de poitou no.VI 	
3. 	Arbeau: Branle couppé pinagay 	
4. 	Arbeau: Branles d'escosse 	
5. 	Arbeau: Branle de la haye 	
6. 	Du tertre - Attaingnant: Pavane et Gaillarede premiere 	
7. 	Du tertre - Attaingnant: Pavane et Gaillarede premiere 	
8. 	Phalese: Almande poussinghe 	
9. 	Praetorius: Volte 	
10. 	Moderne: Branles simples No. 20-21-22 	
11. 	Gervaise - allaingnant 	
12. 	Du tertre - attaingnant 	
13. 	Arbeau: Branle de la montarde 	
14. 	Arbeau: Branle couppé de la guerre 	
15. 	Phalese: Pavane et guillarde ferarreze 	
16. 	Phalese: Pavane et guillarde ferarreze 	
17. 	Phalese: Almande d'amour 	
18. 	Gervaise - attaingnant: Branles de chanpagne No. VII-VIII-IX 	
19. 	Arbeau: Branle de malte 	
20. 	Arbeau: Branles des lavandieres et branles des pois 	
21. 	Arbeau: Branles des hermites 	
22. 	Phalese: Almande de Don Frederico 	
23. 	Phalese: Gaillarde au joly bois 	
24. 	Arbeau: Pavane d'Espagne 	
25. 	Carboubel - Praetorius: Gavottes

Compagnie Maitre Guillaume:
Pascale Boquet (guitar Renaissance, lute Renissance)
Beatrice Delpierre (douçaine alt, douçaine bass, chalemie)
Henri Angel (cister, tambourine, daf)
Jean-Noel Catrice (recorder, douçaine alto, alto shawn)
Frederic Martin (lira d abraccio, Renaissance fiddle)
Carles Mas I Garcia (flabelum & drum, three-holed flute, tambour, psalterium)
Sophie Rousseau - director

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Sun, 10 May 2015 16:03:45 +0000
Danze e Musiche del Rinascimento Italiano (1974) Danze e Musiche del Rinascimento Italiano (1974)

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Giorgio Mainerio: Suite dal "Primo libro de balli":
1. Pass'e mezzo della paganina
2. Putta nera ballo furlano
3. Tedesca 1
4. Tedesca 2
5. La lavandara gagliarda
6. Ungaresca
(ob. bsn. perc.)
7. Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon a 7 play
8. Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon a 5
9. Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon a 6
(rec. vle. lut. spi)
10. Giovanni Gastoldi: Capriccio a due voci
11. Vincenzo Galilei: Capriccio a due voci
12. Giovanni Gastoldi: Capriccio a due voci
13. Alessandro Orologio: Intrada a 5
14. Alessandro Orologio: Intrada a 5
(ob. bsn. perc.)
15. Francesco Bendusi: Cortesa padana e frusta
16. Anonimo: Le forze d'Ercole e tripla
(cru. perc.)
17. Vincenzo Ruffo: Capriccio ''Dormendo un giorno'' (Verdelot)
18. Vincenzo Ruffo: Capriccio ''La gamba in basso e soprano''
(vle. bsn.)
19. Vincenzo Galilei: Contrappunto per due liuti
20. Johannes Matelart (da Francesco Canova da Milano): Fantasia per due liuti
21. Giovanni Bassano (da Luca Marenzio): Tirsi morir volea
(rec. lut.)
22. Sperindio Bartoldo: Petit fleur
23. Sperindio Bartoldo: Canzone francese play

Ensemble Ricercare di Zurigo:
Michel Piguet, Richard Erig, Renate Hildebrand, Käte Wagner, Nils Ferber
(recorder, oboe, bassoon, crumhorn)
Anne van Royen, Anthony Bailes (lutes)
Jordi Savall, Adelheid Glatt (viole de gambe)
Martha Gmunder (spinet)
Dieter Dyk (percussions)

Michel Piguet – director

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Thu, 10 Mar 2011 09:39:41 +0000
Desir d'Aymer (From Flanders to Italy) [2007] Desir d'Aymer (From Flanders to Italy) [2007]

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1. Vincenzo CAPIROLA. Padoana belissima
2. JOSQUIN. Baises moy
3. Alexander AGRICOLA. L'home banni
4. ISAAC, Anon., GHIZEGHEM, JOSQUIN, MARTINI J'ay pris amour/De tous bien plaine
5. Anon. Ick byn zo elende
6. Alexander AGRICOLA. Je n'ay duel


7. Joan Ambrosio DALZA. Calata ala spagnola
8. Loyset COMPERE. Le grand desir
9. Anon. La stangetta
10. Jean MOUTON. James, James, James
11. Jacob OBRECHT. T'sat een meskin
12. Loyset COMPERE. Lourdault, Lourdault
13. Loyset COMPERE. Nous sommes de l'orde de Saynt Babuyn


15. Francesco SPINACINO. Recercare
16. AGRICOLA, JOSQUIN, Anon. O Venus bant
17. JOSQUIN. Baises moy  (а 6)
18. Joan Ambrosio DALZA. Tastar de corde-Ricercar dietro

Love lyrics around 1500.

Capilla Flamenca
Dirk Snellings – conductor


At the beginning of the twelfth century a new conception of love came in to being at the noble courts in the south of what is now France. In this conception, the woman was placed on a pedestal. The lyrical first person (usually a man, although there were also female versions) sings of love in countless ways. This concept of courtly love formed part of 'courtliness' or courtoisie. The love lyric and its attendant notions of love spread like wildfire through all of Western Europe. Besides these narrative texts, lyric poetry also sang of courtly love. These texts were generally meant to be sung, with or without instrumental accompaniment. If a melody became popular, it could spread far and wide in no time. Professional musicians were able to play or sing a 'ditty' after hearing it just once. Much of this music, together with its text, has thus been lost for the very simple reason that it was never written down in the first place. Ottaviano dei Petrucci started collecting these popular melodies and published three books of secular music: the Harmonice musices odhekaton A (roughly translated, 'One hundred polyphonic melodies, part A') and the subsequent Canti B & C.

The melodies and texts on this CD of love lyrics represent three stages of love. The first of these is the Minne verlangen (love's desiring), in which the lover yearns for a reward, for instance in the form of a kiss (as in Baisés moy on a melody by the Fleming Josquin Desprez). Minne plezier (love's pleasure) sings the praises of being together (as in Le grand désir). It can't be roses all the time, however: the lover can be spurned or ignored. Minne verdriet (love's sorrow) thus turns to the pain of love, as in O venus bant and also in the reprise of Baisés moy: the girl refuses to offer a kiss because her mother once became pregnant from such a kiss!

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Sun, 07 Jul 2013 14:19:09 +0000
Early Iberian Organ Music (1994) Early Iberian Organ Music (1994)

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01. Anonymous - Entrada [3:39]
02. Antonio de Cabezon - Tiento I [4:25]
03. Antonio de Cabezon - Diferencias on the Italian Pavane [3:25]
04. Antonio de Cabezon - Diferencias on the Milanese Galliard [2:58]
05. Antonio de Cabezon - Tiento on Qui la dira [3:40]
06. Antonio Carreira - Fantasia on the 1st tone [2:00]
07. Bernardo Clavijo del Castillo - Tiento on the 2nd tone [5:01]
08. Francisco de Peraza - Medio registro alto [3:19]
09. Sebastian Aguilera de Heredia - Tiento de falsas on the 4th tone [4:49]
10. Manuel Rodriguez Coelho - Tiento on the 4th tone [5:28]
11. Francisco Correa de Arauxo - Tiento de medio registro de baxon [4:06]
12. Pablo Bruna -Tiento on the Litany of the Virgin [7:11]
13. Juan Cabanilles - Pasacalles I [3:15]
14. Juan Cabanilles - Xacara [5:06]
15. Anonymous - Variations on the Gayta [3:21]

Robert Parkins - organ


The most striking visual feature of organs in Spain and Portugal is undoubtedly the array of horizontal reed pipes cantilevered from the façade of the main case. Yet, this peculiar invention did not arrive until the last third of the 17th century, well toward the end of the great age of early Iberian organ music (c1550-c1700). The instruments for which the bulk of the literature was written were indeed distinctive but less flamboyant, most possessing only one or two manual keyboards and rudimentary pedals (or none at all).

The anonymous Entrada, taken from manuscripts compiled by Antonio Martin y Coll after the turn of the 18th century, specifically calls for the brilliant horizontal trumpets (clarines). The canciones that follow feature echoes as well, exploiting devices that began to appear in Spanish organs not long after the introduction of horizontal reeds.

The history of early Iberian keyboard music is to some extent the history of the tiento (Port. tento), already well developed by the mid-16th century. Many early tientos resembled keyboard transcriptions of polyphonic motets of the period, for the imitative contrapuntal fabric woven around several themes translated easily to the organ.

Antonio de Cabezón's Tiento I is far more idiomatic and sophisticated than these, but his Tiento on Oui la dira (based on a chanson) retains the simpler vocal style. Undoubtedly the most inspired genius of pre-18th-century Iberian organ music, the blind Cabezón was no less a master of the variation form. The practice of devising keyboard variations (diferencias) on popular tunes had already been cultivated to a surprisingly high level in 16th-century Spain, earlier than in other European countries. Cabezón's diferencias on the Italian Pavane and the Milanese Galliard are continuous variation sets on two common dances of the time.

António Carreira, Cabezón's Portuguese contemporary, provided no title for his piece referred to here as Fantasia on the 1st tone. It is an uncomplicated but effective work in the usual imitative style and could just as easily have been labeled tento.

The Tiento on the 2nd tone is the only surviving work by the Spaniard Bernardo Clavijo dei Castillo. Its serene style suggests that it is a forerunner of the tiento de falsas, a subgenre to become common in 17th-century Spain.

During the last third of the 16th century, a remarkable innovation took place that would alter the character of the Iberian organ forever. Builders began to splitone or more stops between the bass and treble halves, allowing for two different registrations on the same keyboard. Peraza's Medio registro alto, designating a divided registration with the solo in the top line and an accompanying sound for the lower voices, is probably the earliest surviving tiento to specify this technique.

Sebastian Aguilera de Heredia was the seminal figure of the Aragonese school, centered around Saragossa. Several of his 18 extant works are prototypes for a number of genres to flourish in 17th-century Spain. His second Tiento de falsas on the 4th tone was among the first to use the term falsas, the slow-moving dissonant suspended notes that characterize this meditative "vocal" style.

During the entire 17th century, only two collections of keyboard music were actually published in Iberia. The first of these was the Flores de musica (1620) by the Portuguese master Manuel Rodrigues Coelho. He included three tientos in each mode, and the first Tiento on the 4th tone is one of the most engaging. The four themes are all at least tenuously related.

Francisco Correa de Arauxo's Facultad organica was printed just a few years later in 1626. Correa included many tientos for divided stops in this volume, and the Tiento de medio registro de baxón calls for a solo in the bass (baxón). The most fascinating aspect of this particular piece is the section in septuple meter (7/ 8) near the end.

Pablo Bruna, blind like the venerable Cabezón, was a later disciple of the Aragonese school. His Tiento on the Litany of the Virgin is in reality a loose string of variations intended to be played on divided registers (although not indicated in the title).

The last great composer from the "golden age" of early Iberian organ music was Juan Cabanilles. His prolific output includes virtually every genre in this literature, including variations...a compositional technique that had dwindled in popularity after the era of Cabezón. Pasacalles I, the first of five, is a simple set of 18 continuous variations on a four-measure harmonic scheme. The virtuosic Xácara is more complex and less restrained, based largely on a repeated pattern from a vulgar street dance.

The anonymous Variations on the Gayta, like the opening Entrada, is taken from the Martin y Coll collection. The word gayta means "bagpipe", an instrument especially popular in the Spanish region of Galicia. This enchanting little piece serves as a reminder that not all Iberian organ music from this period is austere or even serious. ---Robert Parkins,

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:56:44 +0000
Echoes from a 16th Century Cathedral (1959) Echoes from a 16th Century Cathedral (1959)

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01	Tomas Luis de Victoria - Vere Languores	4:05
02	Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck - Hodie Christus Natus Est  3:36
03	Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina - Alma Redemptoris Mater  2:53
04	Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina - Missa Brevis: Agnus Dei   2:43
05	Josquin des Prez - Ave Vera Virginitas 	2:27
06	Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina - Super Flumina Babylonis	3:41
07	Hans Leo Hassler - Missa Secunda: Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei  7:04
08	Hans Leo Hassler - Cantate Domino	1:41
09	Hans Leo Hassler - Dixit Maria	2:26
10	Ludovico Grossi Viadana - Exultate Justi		2:21
11	Giovanni Maria Nanini - Diffusa Est Gratia	1:58
12	Tomas Luis de Victoria - Ave Maria	2:36

Roger Wagner Chorale
Roger Wagner – director


I love this recording and I've been looking for a CD version for a long time. I hope they put one out soon. Dr. Wagner's chorale really nailed the straight-tone, slightly "hooty" sound that we have come to accept as the Renaissance style. The ALMA REDEMPTORIS is stunningly beautiful. Also of note is the KYRIE, SANCTUS and AGNUS DEI from Hassler's MISSA BREVIS.

With the exception of a slight "scooping up" of notes on the attack of a phrase, I think the Chorale has pretty well captured the Rennaissance style in this performance. --- Larry Thompson,

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Wed, 18 Feb 2015 17:00:12 +0000
Eros in Renaissance Music (2004) Eros in Renaissance Music (2004)

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1.Cosimo Bottegari: Monicella Mi Farei for lute
2.Orazio Vecchi: L'Amfiparnasso, madrigal comedy ([Excerpt])
3.Giacomo Gorzanis: Te parti cor mio caro
4.Orlande de Lassus: Matona mia cara, villanelle for 4 voices, S. x/93
5.Anonymous: Trista sorte è la mia sorte
6.Claudio Monteverdi: Si ch'io vorrei morire, madrigal for 5 voices (from Book 4), SV 89
7.Claudio Monteverdi: Voglio di vita uscir, madrigal for soprano
8.Thomas Vautor: Mother, I Will Have A Husband
9.John Dowland: Can she excuse my wrongs, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
10.Tobias Hume: Hit It in the Middle
11.Tobias Hume: She Loves It Well:
12.Michael East: Poor Is the Life, madrigal for 6 voices (The Triumph of Oriana)
13.Thomas Morley: Fyer, fyer, madrigal for 5 voices
14.Jean Courtois: Petit Jaquet
15.Anonymous: D'amour je suis déshéritée
16.Pierre Guédron: C'est une damoiselle, song
17.Pierre Moulu: Amy, souffrez
18.Clément Janequin: Or vien ca, vien, m'amye, chanson for 4 voices, M. 2/41
19.Hans Teuglin: Nun ist es doch kein Reuter
20.Peter Fabricius: Warum sind die Studenten
21.Paul Hofhaimer: Ach edler Hort
22.Hans Neusidler: Mein Herz hat sich mit Lieb' verpflicht
23.Anonymous: Traut Marle
24.Hans Neusidler: Zart schöne fraw, for lute (The Lautenbuch, Book I)
25.German Traditional: Zu Regensburg auf der Kirchturmspitz, folk song
26.Anonymous: Teresica hermana
27.Juan del Encina: Más vale trocar
28.Antonio de Cabezón: Diferencias for organ sobre el canto "llano de Cavallero"
29.Juan del Encina: Mi libertad en sosiego
30.Juan del Encina: Cucú, cucú, cucúcu, cancionero (from Cancionero de Palacio)

Musica Fresca
Jiri Gemrot – direction

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]]> (bluesever) Renaissance Sun, 18 May 2014 16:05:11 +0000
Haec Dies - Music for Easter (2016) Haec Dies - Music for Easter (2016)

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1.Lassus: Aurora lucis rutilat
2.Taverner: Dum transisset Sabbatum
3.Plainchant: Resurrexi
4.Scheidt: Surrexit Christus hodie
5.Vaughan Williams: Easter
6.Plainchant: Haec dies
7.Byrd: Haec dies
8.Matthew Martin: Haec dies
9.Plainchant: Victimae paschali laudes
10.Bassano: Dic nobis Maria
11.Plainchant: Terra tremuit
12.Palestrina: Terra tremuit
13.Lassus: Surrexit pastor bonus
14.Haller: Surrexit pastor bonus
15.Byrd: Pascha nostrum
16.L'Héritier: Surrexit pastor bonus
17.Rachmaninov: Dnes' spaseniye
18.Wesley: Blessed be the God and Father
19.Hadley: My beloved spake
20.Stanford: Ye choirs of new Jerusalem
21.Lassus: Magnificat octavi toni super 'Aurora lucis rutilat' 

The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Matthew Jorysz - organ
Graham Ross - director


Liturgical choral music is something of a tradition unto itself, interacting only incompletely with the musical styles that surround it. Many albums, especially British, program Renaissance works together with contemporary pieces that follow their basic sound and polyphonic textures. More recently have come programs that attempt to reproduce the liturgies of specific junctures in church calendars, with the aim of heightening the significance of the texts and the composers' musical responses to them. This release from the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, and director Graham Ross represents a nifty mixture of these two organizing principles. You have to get into the notes (or just read this review) to see it, but the program is divided into sections reflecting the music for Easter Day: Hymn at Lauds, Respond at Matins, Introit at Mass, Gradual at Mass, Sequence at Mass, Offertory at Mass, Motets, Communion at Mass, Anthems, and Magnificat at Vespers. These sections may include chant, one or more Renaissance works, and one or more Romantic or modern (but not very modern) works. At the center are three settings of the magnificent Easter gradual Haec dies, from chant to Byrd to the young English composer Matthew Martin (born 1976). Some of the juxtapositions are unexpected (such as the Communion set including Byrd again, the little-known French composer Jean L'Héritier, and Rachmaninov), but you can make a case for all the music being part of one large tradition known to some degree to all these composers. Sample the diverse but mysteriously linked Introit pair of pieces by Samuel Scheidt and Ralph Vaughan Williams (tracks four and five). The youthful mixed voices of the Clare College Choir have just the right feel of commitment to the text, and the sound is superb. Recommended. ---James Manheim, AllMusic Review


This collection of choral music for Easter covers most of musical history with plainchant, music from the Renaissance, and a selection of pieces running right up to modern times. I shall focus mainly on the earlier material, which is generally beautifully sung by the mixed voices of the Clare College Choir. If the opening account of Lassus’ Aurora lucis rutilat occasionally lacks the punch necessary to bring out its poly-choral structure, the narcotic account of Taverner’s Dum transisset which follows is exquisite. The lively Surrexit Christi hodie by Samuel Scheidt demonstrates the choir’s versatility, as does Byrd’s jubilant setting of Haec dies. Giovanni Bassano’s elegant Dic nobis Maria is given a lovely rhythmical rendition although Palestrina’s Terra tremui t is a trifle legato for my taste. Lassus’ Surrexit Pastor bonu s is also a little bland, but the choir warms again to Byrd’s Pascha nostrum. The disc is given a pleasing symmetry, ending with Lassus’ Magnificat octavi toni super Aurora lucis rutilat which is sung with vigour and a rich tone. The regular insertions of plainchant, which is also well sung, provides a useful time machine between the different eras. Probably my favourite track on the CD is the dramatic account of Stanford’s flamboyant Ye choirs of new Jerusalem. There is a great variety of musical styles represented here, and generally speaking the chorister rise to the challenge well, entering the idiom of each piece in turn. ---D. James Ross,

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