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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: 8 minutes 52 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)

In pace
composer
5vv; Lib. decimus: Passiones dominice in ramis palmarum (Paris: Attaingnant, 1535)
author of text
Respond at Sunday Compline from the First Sunday in Lent until Passion Sunday

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Compline responsory In pace represents Moulu at the opposite end of his compositional style from Mater floreat. Whereas the latter is forthright and declamatory, highlighting the named composers and employing fanfare-like imitative points to begin and end the piece to the glory of France’s king and queen, In pace responds to its text by creating a dreamlike soundscape, with long, highly melismatic lines and few obvious cadences. The texture is based around the lower voices: the tenor operates in canon at the upper fifth (in the ‘Gloria Patri’ the upper voice leads and the tenor follows) and, as in many canonic pieces at this time, is largely in longer notes and has a restricted range. It is left to the three free parts to weave the melismatic texture around these two fixed points, therefore. The text was set by several composers in the first half of the sixteenth century, and unusually for responsory settings, the polyphony is given—by others such as the Englishmen John Blitheman, John Taverner, and John Sheppard as well as Moulu—to the sections that would be sung by a soloist in performance of the plainsong responsory.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2010

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