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Hyperion Records

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Vertumnus by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593)
Track(s) taken from CDA67854
Recording details: April 2010
Kloster Pernegg, Waldviertel, Austria
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: May 2011
Total duration: 17 minutes 11 seconds

'Cinquecento's famed flexibility, harmonic blend and impeccable balance are caught perfectly in the stillness of the monastery at Pernegg in Austria. This is a disc to savour' (Gramophone)

'The music, a wonderful discovery, is polyphony of the highest quality, and Cinquecento marries smooth ensemble to marvellous interpretational vision. The recorded sound is excellent, doing full justice to their almost instrumental sonorities' (Choir & Organ)

'The voices of Cinquecento produce balanced, tuneful, clear and stylish performances … the quiet tensions of the 'Et incarnatus est' section are beautifully rendered, and the Benedictus is displayed and sustained with perfect poise … the recording deserves credit, too, for lending substance and space to the mere six voices that produce these compelling harmonies' (BBC Music Magazine)

'[Cinquecento] gives resounding interpretations of the pieces … the ensemble's sonorous tone is based principally on a perfect balance between the voices, taut and intelligent pacing and a supremely confident shaping of musical line. The effect of their performances is enhanced as much by the lucid and warmly resonant recorded sound as the euphonious clarity of Schoendorff's writing' (International Record Review)

Missa super La dolce vista
1587; 6vv; based on Philippe de Monte's eponymous madrigal; surviving in a Nuremberg manuscript dating from 1594
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass, with the Osanna omitted from the Sanctus

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Like the Missa Usquequo Domine, Schoendorff’s Missa super La dolce vista belongs to the tradition of parody Masses, which borrow the themes of a sacred or secular work by a known or anonymous composer in order to exploit and vary their melodic material over the customary five sections of the Ordinary of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus–Benedictus, Agnus Dei). This tradition dating from the late Middle Ages enjoyed increasing success during the Renaissance—a success which the Council of Trent attempted to curb, not least because the borrowed material was often popular, frivolous or even erotic in character. Musicians saw in the practice a way to pay tribute to (or shrewdly benefit from the reputation of) an admired colleague or a revered master, as is the case with the two Masses recorded here. The manuscript containing this Mass is preserved in Nuremberg and dates from 1594.

Schoendorff’s Mass, considerably shorter than that of his master of the chapel, retains the same structure and the six voices of the madrigal, along with their division into answering groups of two, three or four voices. This brief, syllabic Mass, conjuring up memories of a madrigal probably enjoyed by an emperor partial to the pleasures of love, in the end complies with both the prescriptions of the Council of Trent and the requirements of a sovereign with little taste for long religious services.

from notes by Bénédicte Even-Lassmann © 2011
English: Charles Johnston

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