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Hyperion Records

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Virgin Annunciate (1450/5) by Fra Angelico (Giudo di Pietro) (c1387-1455)
Detroit Institute of Arts, USA, Bequest of Eleanor Clay Ford / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67694
Recording details: September 2007
Merton College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: September 2008
Total duration: 7 minutes 16 seconds

'This is the Brabant Ensemble at their most vigorous and confident … in a fast-growing discography, this is a valuable addition' (Gramophone)

'Rice and his ensemble reveal a composer of warmth and passion who could also write resplendently joyful music when required … the whole recital is marked by an extraordinary unanimity of ensemble, security of intonation and intelligence that surpass all rivals in the repertory. In short, this is a valuable and exquisitely sung addition to the Morales discography' (International Record Review)

'Music of astonishing beauty and rapt polyphonic intensity, which the voices of the Brabant Ensemble unfold with perfect poise' (The Guardian)

'The Magnficat setting glows with power, and the three Lamentations have a grave beauty impossible to resist with the radiant tone and golden blend of Stephen Rice's Brabant Ensemble. The wise selection focuses on material underexposed elsewhere' (The Times)

'The young Oxford choir turns its immaculate ensemble, lucid diction and faultless tuning to the Spanish composer Morales. His Lamentations flow with exquisite sadness … the lines blend like threads in a tapestry … the selection of motets is rich with dynamic contrast, expressivity and downright beautiful singing' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This first-rate recording makes an important contribution not only for its exceptional performances, but in its thoughtful programming … essential' (ClassicsToday.com)

Spem in alium
composer
5vv
author of text
Respond for Sunday matins, History of Judith, cf Judith 8: 19, 6: 15

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The five-voice Spem in alium, sharing its text with Tallis’s famous setting in forty parts, is a curiosity of the Morales canon. Stylistically it would seem closer to a Franco-Flemish than a Spanish idiom, with many false relations and a thicker texture than Morales was accustomed to write. It also contains some unusual dissonance, and its repetition scheme, with a varied reprise of the first part’s ending, is similarly striking. As well as Morales, it is attributed to Nicolas Gombert and the Italian Vincenzo Ruffo; the source evidence, however, points to Morales.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2008

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