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Hyperion Records

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The Annunciation. Panel from an altarpiece (1478/85) by Lorenzo di Credi (1459-1537)
Louvre, Paris / Peter Willi / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67761
Recording details: September 2009
The Chapel of Harcourt Hill campus, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: May 2010
Total duration: 4 minutes 9 seconds

'The Brabant Ensemble happily bring their familiar virtues to bear in sensitive, transparent performances. Musical adventurers will want this recording to discover a superb composer they may not know … Moulu's idiom is pleasingly inventive and immediately engaging' (Gramophone)

'An outstandingly beautiful setting for five voices [In pace], built around a canon. This is a real discovery, and I can imagine it inspiring many choir directors to include it in their repertoires. The Brabant Ensemble's vibrant sound is ideal for this music. Rice is careful never to allow the upper voices to dominate, with the result that the polyphonic workings of all these pieces are clearly audible, something rather rarer than one might think. This is a highly impressive release' (International Record Review)

'The Brabant Ensemble are an eleven-voiced choir, using female altos and sopranos. They sing with a lovely clear, focused tone which allows the polyphony space to flourish and each line is clearly delineated. They sing the Latin with a form of French pronunciation which is entirely suitable for this composer. Moulu is not a showy writer. Stephen Rice and his ensemble allow the composer's distinctive reflective voice to come over in these fascinating and rather enchanting pieces' (MusicWeb International)

'Revel in the bare intervals at the start of the Mater floreat which become a glowing major chord as the inner parts enter. Or the exquisite solemnity of the shorter In Pace. We are also treated to a brief Josquin motet which Moulu used as the model for his own Missa Missus est Gabriel Angelas. All sung with astonishing confidence and beauty of tone by Stephen Rice’s Brabant Ensemble' (TheArtsDesk.com)

Missus est Gabriel angelus
composer
4vv; BrusBR 9126
author of text
Antiphon at Second Vespers for the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Josquin’s motet is characteristic of his four-voice writing in maintaining a sparse texture with the voices imitating strongly memorable phrases. The characteristic rising leap of a fifth at the beginning of the piece exemplifies this trait of Josquin: frequently the voices work in pairs, as at ‘nuntians ei verbum’. Appropriation of plainsong melodies is common in Josquin’s music, as is true of many Renaissance composers: in Missus est Gabriel this is most clearly seen at the words ‘Ave Maria’, where the famous chant is strikingly introduced in the bass, the other voices following at a distance of two breves, all on the same pitch. Finally the closing ‘Alleluia’ is set to an evocative ‘fauxbourdon’ texture—a succession of first inversion chords that frequently was associated with sweetness in early sixteenth-century music.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2010

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