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Hyperion Records

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Job mocked by his wife by Georges de la Tour (1593-1652)
Musée départemental des Vosges, Épinal, France / Lauros / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67696
Recording details: August 2008
The Chapel of Harcourt Hill campus, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: August 2009
Total duration: 11 minutes 38 seconds

'There are many laurels to award in this column, but arguably the biggest, shiniest and bushiest wreath should land on Stephen Rice and his spirited Brabant Ensemble for their outstanding disc of works by Dominique Phinot. What a discovery! Extraordinary music, not least the 'secret chromatic art' exemplified in the motet Pater Peccavi, which deserves the widest hearing thanks to these sinuous, assured performance, captured in an edgy acoustic that enhances the curious architecture of the polyphony' (Choir & Organ)

'The Brabant Ensemble's performances of these fascinating works are as polished and assured as we have come to expect, full-throated yet finely modelled and shimmering with lively intelligence. Rice unerringly finds the right pace for each work … and pays full heed to Phinot's expressive use of contrasting textures. Amidst all the drama of the larger works, the ensemble's caressing, translucent rendition of O sacrum convivium is a particular high point. This is a valuable and engrossing premiere for a neglected and somewhat unconventional sixteenth-century master' (International Record Review)

'Rice has outdone his achievement of the first five discs with this fascinating and rewarding offering. If you have not discovered the Brabant Ensemble yet, by all means start here' (Fanfare, USA)

'If you are to make an investment into a new or unknown composer you need to be able to trust the performers. With the Brabant Ensemble and the musicianship and prowess of Stephen Rice you know that you are in safe hands … awards. They have a gloriously fresh, yet intensely expressive sound, intonation is miraculous and they are aided on each occasion by a superb acoustic and recording' (MusicWeb International)

Incipit oratio Jeremiae prophetae
composer
8vv; Liber secundus mutetarum, sex, septem et octo vocum, Dominico Phinot autore (Lyons: Beringen, 1548). P2019-1548
author of text
Lamentations 5: 1-8

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
When we listen to Phinot’s double-choir motets and Lamentations, it is soon apparent that the composer’s main objective is to create musical structures rather than to respond to a liturgical requirement. By far the largest of these is Incipit oratio Jeremiae prophetae, a multi-sectional as well as polychoral composition. Phinot departs from the standard practice of Renaissance Lamentation settings in not composing music for the Hebrew letters that begin each verse; rather, the four middle sections comprise a continuous narrative of the first eight verses of the book’s fifth chapter. Phinot contrasts an upper-voice section (‘Pupilli facti sumus’) with a lower (‘Cervicibus minabamur’), creating an alternative division of the eight voices to the usual one between two SATB choirs. His control of the sonorous possibilities of eight-part writing is seen most effectively at the beginning of the final narrative section (‘Patres nostri peccaverunt’), where the full choir returns in force after the two reduced-voice sections.

from notes by Roger Jacob & Stephen Rice © 2009

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