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Hyperion Records

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Sibyl (c1540) by Francesco Ubertini Verdi Bachiacca (c1494-1557)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67887
Recording details: September 2010
The Chapel of Harcourt Hill campus, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: August 2011
Total duration: 23 minutes 15 seconds

'The Brabant Ensemble's singers sound thoroughly engaged in their tribute to Lassus, with a rich tone-spectrum allowing for maximum appreciation of his fluid, elegant polyphony' (Choir & Organ)

'They certainly are astonishing in their harmonic daring, moving from C major via G major and B major to C sharp minor in the bat of an eyelid, and are wonderfully captured here by the suavely assured Brabant Ensemble under scholarly Stephen Rice. The prologue and 12 movements that make up Prophetiae Sibyllarum are joined by a Mass, a magnificat and three marvellous motets, including the sumptuous Tristis est anima mea. Listen and be moved' (The Observer)

'The performances throughout are wonderfully persuasive, with nothing arch or affected in the way in which the texts are presented; expressively, music that is as highly wrought as any of its time is made to seem completely natural' (The Guardian)

'In his day, de Lassus was more celebrated than his contemporary Palestrina and even more prolific, although today their relative pre-eminence is reversed. This disc is typically representative of The Brabant Ensemble's intention to record and promulgate somewhat lesser-known music from the first half of the sixteenth century. Devotees of the period will welcome its austere, otherworldly beauty' (MusicWeb International)

Missa Amor ecco colei
6vv; SSATTB; published in Orlandi de Lasso … Missae posthumae, Munich, 1610
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Kyrie  [3'09] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [4'22] LatinEnglish
Credo  [7'08] LatinEnglish

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Like the great majority of Lassus’s Masses, Missa Amor ecco colei is a so-called ‘parody’ setting: though no model has been firmly established, it resembles a villanelle on this text by Prospero Caetano. About a quarter of Lassus’s Mass output is for six voices, and the SSATTB voice disposition of Missa Amor ecco colei seems to have been a favoured one: doubling the soprano and tenor lines permits contrast between high and low choirs of three voices, which the composer exploits fully. The Mass is particularly notable for the exuberant running motifs in which the soprano voices either alternate, or sing together in thirds. The Benedictus features an unusually long sequence, a device that is used to such an extent that one would think of an earlier composer such as Obrecht rather than the habitually more rhetorical Lassus. Also worthy of note is the emphasis in the Credo on the words ‘unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam’, the Munich court having remained faithful to the Catholic church at the Reformation.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2011

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