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Track(s) taken from CDA67658

Magnificat sexti toni

composer
4vv; alternatim, even verses polyphony, odd verses chant
author of text
Luke 1: 46-55

Cinquecento
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
CD-Quality:
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Recording details: August 2007
Wallfahrtskirche, St Wolfgang bei Weitra, Austria
Produced by Stephen Rice
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: May 2008
Total duration: 5 minutes 56 seconds

Cover artwork: Winter by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593)
Private Collection, © Agnew's, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
1
Magnificat sexti toni  [5'56]

Reviews

'The music is beautifully performed and well worth a listen; Monte's settings are full of variety and fruity chromaticisms, and Cinquecento more than does him justice' (Choir & Organ)

'Their performances make it clear that Monte is a composer of distinction' (BBC Music Magazine)

'An enticing snapshot of [Monte's] musical personality. Detailed word-painting and an imaginatively dramatic response to his texts' changing moods are displayed in pieces such as Ad te levavi and Miserere mei' (The Daily Telegraph)

'An impassioned and beautiful performance by Cinquecento … the exceptional blend of voices and unified approach to phrasing augur well for their future as great interpreters of Renaissance music … a marvellous affinity for Monte … they have no need of a conductor to achieve lovely long phrases full of warmth and life … the individual voices are all lovely, and the countertenors float above the texture without dominating it' (Early Music Review)

'An unusually gifted ensemble, both vocally and musically … here is a group whose tone, vocal flexibility, collective and individual musicianship and commitment to their chosen repertoire places them at the very forefront of modern-day specialists in the performance of Renaissance vocal music … a disc which is not only a real treat to the ears but a most valuable and worthwhile exposé of little-known repertoire … unfailingly compelling and absorbing performances … it is the Mass which, at 25 minutes, dominates the disc and shows most obviously the many strengths of this outstanding vocal ensemble … at the start of the Kyrie, for example, we have a layered texutre the subtle balance of which, while seeming entirely natural, must have taken a great deal of effort to achieve. As it unfolds there is the impression of clouds parting to reveal a vast landscape as viewed from a montain top, a sense of spaciousness and a grandeur which is profoundly moving. This is a veritable jewel of a disc' (International Record Review)

'Beautifully blended sound by a young pan-European vocal sextet, rich with character and individuality in rare 16th-century polyphony' (Classic FM Magazine)
Monte’s setting of the Magnificat in the sixth tone is, like most such canticles of this period, heavily indebted to the recitation tone to which the odd-numbered verses are chanted. Since the sixth tone begins on F, has its medial cadence on A, and returns to F at the end of the verse, the tonal outline of the polyphonic verses is in most cases similar to this template. The first verse gives a clear example, with the highest voice singing a slightly decorated version of the tone which cadences ‘in the minor’ at ‘spiritus meus’, then returns to the ‘tonic’ the first time this voice sings ‘salutari meo’: following this, the tenor repeats the chant phrase while the other three voices elaborate around it. The next two polyphonic verses adopt very similar strategies, but with markedly different textures, especially ‘Fecit potentiam’, where the opening phrase ‘He has shown the power’ is expressed with forceful chords. More variety is evident in the final two verses, where ‘Sicut locutus est’ is reduced to three voices by the omission of the highest, and the doxology breaks into a more expansive style, with running quavers to create a suitable climax. The entire Magnificat is extremely concise, yet displays a mastery of many polyphonic techniques in an idiom that is overall somewhat conservative—a microcosm of Monte’s compositional output, one might say.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2008

Le Magnificat de de Monte, dans le sixième ton, est, comme la plupart des cantiques de cette époque, fort redevable au ton de récitation sur lequel les versets impairs sont psalmodiés. Comme le sixième ton s’ouvre sur fa, a sa médiante sur la et revient à fa à la fin de chaque verset, le contour tonal des versets polyphoniques est, le plus souvent, conforme à ce gabarit. Ce que le premier verset montre bien: la voix la plus aiguë chante une version légèrement ornée du ton qui cadence «en mineur» à «spiritus meus», puis revient à la «tonique» la première fois que cette voix chante «salutari meo»; après quoi le ténor répète la phrase en plain-chant pendant que les trois autres voix la développent autour de lui. Les deux versets polyphoniques suivants adoptent des stratégies fort semblables, mais avec des textures bien différentes, surtout «Fecit potentiam», où la phrase initiale «Il a montré la puissance» est exprimée par de vigoureux accords. Les deux derniers versets affichent une plus grande variété: «Sicut locutus est» est réduit à trois voix par l’omission de la plus aiguë, tandis que la doxologie adopte un style davantage expansif, avec des croches ininterrompues pour créer un apogée idoine. Malgré son extrême concision, ce Magnificat utilise un grand nombre de techniques polyphoniques, maîtrisées dans un idiome globalement assez conservateur—un microcosme de l’œuvre de de Monte, en quelque sorte.

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Rice © 2008
Français: Hypérion

Montes Vertonung des Magnificat im sechsten Ton verdankt wie die meisten solcher Lobgesänge dieser Periode viel dem Rezitationston, in dem die ungeraden Strophen gesungen werden. Da der sechste Ton auf F beginnt, seine Mediantkadenz auf A hat und am Ende der Strophen nach F zurückkehrt, ist die tonale Kontur in den meisten Fällen diesem Muster ähnlich. Die erste Strophe liefert ein deutliches Beispiel, indem die höchste Stimme eine leicht verzierte Version des Tonus singt, mit einer „Moll“-Kadenz bei „spiritus meus“ und dann zur „Tonika“ zurückkehrt, wenn die gleiche Stimme zum ersten Mal „salutari meo“ singt; danach wiederholt der Tenor die Choralphrase während die anderen drei Stimmen um sie herum verzieren. Die nächsten beiden polyphonen Strophen adoptieren eine ähnliche Strategie aber mit ganz unterschiedlicher Satzstruktur, besonders „Fecit potentiam“, wo die Anfangsphrase „Er hat die Stärke [seines Armes] gezeigt“ durch kraftvolle Akkorde ausgedrückt wird. In den letzten beiden Strophen tritt eine größere Vielfalt zu Tage, wo „Sicut locutus est“ durch das Auslassen der höchsten auf drei Stimmen reduziert wird, und die Doxologie bricht in einen expansiveren Stil mit laufenden Achteln aus, um eine angemessene Steigerung zu erzielen. Das gesamte Magnificat ist außerordentlich prägnant, stellt aber dennoch eine meisterliche Beherrschung vieler polyphoner Techniken in einem Idiom dar, das insgesamt eher konservativ ist—bildet sozusagen einen Mikrokosmos von Montes kompositorischem Œuvre.

aus dem Begleittext von Stephen Rice © 2008
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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