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Hyperion Records

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Christ's Charge to Peter (c1616) by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67785
Recording details: March 2009
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: March 2010
Total duration: 32 minutes 35 seconds

'Works by two 16th-century masters of sacred music are here given sublime performances' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Westminster Cathedral Choir has had Palestrina coursing through its veins for generations and if anybody can make it sound real and vital for the passive listener, it can; and it does, with supreme success here … a truly absorbing experience, given the complete ease and naturalness with which this outstanding London choir performs this elevated music. It is, indeed, a rare listening pleasure' (International Record Review)

Missa Te Deum laudamus
6vv SAATTB; Papal Chapel Codex 32, 1585; published in the ninth book of Masses, Venice, 1599
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Kyrie  [4'11] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [6'08] LatinEnglish
Credo  [11'23] LatinEnglish

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The earliest known source of the Missa Te Deum laudamus, set for SAATTB, is a manuscript in the Papal Chapel, Codex 32, into which it was copied in 1585. Later included in Palestrina’s ninth book of Masses, published in Venice in 1599, the Mass, like the chant on which it is based, is in the Phrygian mode, which in modern terms can be regarded as a modal form of E minor. Haberl, a late nineteenth-century editor of the complete works of Palestrina, commented that ‘this gives the Mass a certain severity of colouring, but [it is] full of holy fire’. This is a paraphrase Mass, which means it is based on an existing chant, in this case the ‘Te Deum’, from which it draws some of its musical material, often as a source of melodic motifs. An example of this can be heard in the opening bars of the Kyrie where, in their first entry, the basses sing the notes to which the words ‘Te Deum laudamus’ are set in the first half verse of the chant.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 2010

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