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Hyperion Records

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Second woodcut of the 1550 Rosarium philosophorum.
Track(s) taken from CKD417
Recording details: January 2012
St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Philip Hobbs & Robert Cammidge
Release date: November 2012
Total duration: 4 minutes 37 seconds

'Sonic splendour abounds in the Magnificat choir's performance of this repertory. Byrd's eight-part Quomodo cantabimus unfurls majestically, ravishing the ear. In White's enormous five-part Lamentations, the choir lingers at just the right places. The subtle hues of the choir, an elite corps from Winchester and Westminster cathedrals, are particularly impressive in Byrd's Lamentation, a piece in which voicing gives the music its momentum' (BBC Music Magazine) » More

'The sober packaging of this disc gives little indication of the pleasure within. Pass it over at your peril. The small vocal group Magnificat, and its founder/director Philip Cave, explore Latin music from Tudor England mainly from the 1560s and 70s by Parsons, White and Byrd found in the Dow collection of manuscripts in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. An excellent booklet essay guides us through the changing fortunes of Latin texts in newly Protestant England, as well as questions of performance practice and pitch. But the long lines of intertwining and unfolding polyphony, performed with warmth and purity, is the reason to buy this inspirational CD' (The Observer)

'Compiled by the singer/musicologist Sally Dunkley and conducted by tenor Philip Cave, Magnificat's latest disc traces the survival of the Latin motet in the 1560s and 1570s. Byrd, Parsons and White were contemporaries, and the influence of Thomas Tallis, Byrd's teacher, can be felt in the purity of each composer's word-setting. From the aching lines of White's Lamentations to the deep groan of Byrd's Domine, the blend is beautifully relaxed and natural' (The Independent)

'What a way to open a CD! The spare beauty of Byrd's hymn Christe qui lux es et dies is quite devastating: no fancy part-writing, just simple block chords in which the hymn tune, sung in its unembellished form at the beginning and end weaves through the harmony leaving the other parts forlorn and angular. Performed with measured solemnity, this epitomises Philip Cave's style … Magnificat's recorded sound is spacious and rich, underpinned by a strong bass department, but with all the parts clear and some marvellous chording and part-crossing; false relations are met with discretion, and the phrasing is heart-rending … very highly recommended' (Early Music Review) » More

Domine, quis habitabit?
composer
6vv SSAABarB; tenor part reconstructed by Michael Swithinbank
author of text
Psalm 14 (15): 1-3

Other recordings available for download
The Cardinall's Musick, Andrew Carwood (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Queen Mary did not want a wholesale return to some perceived halcyon age but was intelligent enough to realize that she had to provide a settlement which did not ignore the recent past. As composers grappled with this new reality they had to find suitable texts for any extended compositions as there seemed to be no demand for a return to the old-fashioned and lengthy Votive Antiphons to the Virgin Mary. They turned instead to the Book of Psalms and to two Psalms in particular—Psalm 15 (or 14 in the Vulgate) Domine, quis habitabit? and various portions of the extended Psalm 119 (Vulgate 118). Both texts are concerned with righteous living and the following of God’s commandments and instruct people how to live a godly life. Could it be that these texts became popular for people searching for the ‘right’ way? The to-and-fro of politics had created a considerable degree of confusion and unease and such advice could be invaluable. Or was it that such texts could apply equally to Protestants as well as Catholics and were unlikely to cause offence?

Domine, quis habitabit? was set by Tallis, William Mundy, Robert White (three times) and William Byrd as well as Parsons himself. Parsons sets only the first half of the Psalm (as does Byrd) and makes a feature of juxtaposing the high voices against the lower ones. The piece seems to owe more to the Continental Flemish style than his more florid English inheritance.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2011


Other albums featuring this work
'Parsons: Sacred Music' (CDA67874)
Parsons: Sacred Music
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00 CDA67874  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

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