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Hyperion Records

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Spring by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593)
Real Adademia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67733
Recording details: May 2008
Kloster Pernegg, Waldviertel, Austria
Produced by Stephen Rice
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: March 2009
Total duration: 7 minutes 42 seconds

'Stunning … Cinquecento's one-to-a-part approach, with countertenors on the top lines, is ideally suited to this repertory and really works wonders … at telling moments they modulate their delivery to considerable expressive effect … this highly accomplished singing does not draw attention to itself (or at least, not unduly) but focuses attention squarely on the composer. But for his early death, Vaet would have almost certainly emerged as a leading figure of his generation … this deserves to be widely heard' (Gramophone)

'A delicious feast of harmonic tension and inwardly-sensed architecture [Spiritus Domini]. Other gems include the expressive Miserere mei and a brilliant Salve Regina' (BBC Music Magazine)

Magnificat octavi toni
author of text
Luke 1: 46-55

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Magnificat octavi toni, one of a set of eight representing each of the Psalm tones, is a fine example of this highly popular genre of Renaissance Gebrauchsmusik. Outlining in every verse the motif G–A–G–C that defines the eighth tone, the piece nevertheless responds to the necessity to create a different mood for each verse: for instance the three-part ‘Esurientes implevit bonis’ (‘He has filled the hungry with good things’) stands in sharp distinction to the duet ‘Fecit potentiam’ (‘He has shown the power’). The latter combines the aggression of the text with a highly polished piece of duet writing. As the contemporary theorist Nicola Vicentino put it in 1555, writing for two voices is harder than for more: ‘Every painter depicts a completely clothed figure quite well, whereas not all painters can do the same with a nude’ (tr. Maria Rika Maniates).

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2009

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