Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
The Dead Christ (c1480-1490) by Andrea Mantegna (c1431-1506)
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan / Alinari / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67959
Recording details: August 2010
Kloster Pernegg, Waldviertel, Austria
Produced by Colin Mason
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: August 2012
Total duration: 3 minutes 45 seconds

'Not only do the performances here range from genuine tenderness … to majestic splendour, but the balance is perfect and the melodic lines are absolutely clear, so that every detail of Richafort's remarkable contrapuntal writing can be heard … the other works on the disc are given similarly wonderful performances … Cinquecento's imploring rendition of the masterpiece that is Miserere mei, Deus is surely perfect in the way it balances a profound understanding, and projection, of its intricate counterpoint with its vast melodic sweep … if I could nominate this recording as 'Outstanding' twice over, I would do, for I have run out of superlatives. It is, quite simply, sublime' (International Record Review)

'Cinquecento's sound has a magic of its own' (Gramophone)

'Cinquecento give a more finely blended and balanced performance than I have yet heard from them, with spacious legato lines, breadth of vision and appreciation of the architecture and majestic solemnity of Richafort's 6-part polyphony, framed by gorgeous works by Josquin, his probable master. Vividly sung and recorded' (Choir & Organ)

'Musically inspired by Josquin, this is a majestic, expansive requiem … the shades of mourning are illuminated by moments of light and serenity—glimpses of a sublime hereafter. Cinquecento captures the work's meditative quality to profound effect, the all-male vocal ensemble creating an aptly plangent sonority and a tone of high seriousness … the group can also produce all the opulence and bloom of a much larger ensemble. Throughout, the singing is exquisitely controlled: arching polyphonic lines are beautifully shaped, textural contrasts subtly enhanced, never over-dramatised, and the voices—silken and effortless—seem to be suspended in amber' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Stephen Rice’s authoritative booklet notes are a valuable resource when it comes to placing the music in its historical context and delving further into the complexities of its creation, but the expressive warmth and sonority of Cinquecento’s voices, superbly recorded, are the source to which you will want to return for more and more. Superbly unified, the dynamic shading which brings forth leading voice lines and gently points to significant harmonic shifts are done so naturally that the music seems to enter your soul through some kind of osmosis rather than something so banal as mere listening' (MusicWeb International)

Nymphes des bois / Requiem aeternam
composer
5vv; honouring the death of Ockeghem in 1497; 1545 Susato print, with altered text
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Josquin’s Nymphes des bois, to a text by Jean Molinet, is set in the Phrygian mode, with the plainsong ‘Requiem aeternam’ sung in transposition to conform with that mode. Molinet’s poem is full of puns, assonance, and alliteration, larding the text with significance relating to the deceased Ockeghem. Molinet’s original describes the Fate Atropos, whose role it was to cut the thread of life, as a ‘très terrible satrappe’, who ‘a vostre Ockeghem attrapé dans sa trappe’, and also describes the composer as ‘vray tresorier de musique’, alluding to his position as Treasurer of the royal abbey of St Martin, Tours. In the earliest manuscript source of the work, the notation is all black, a device used on several occasions at this time for especially mournful funerary pieces. The version performed here is that printed by Susato in 1545, reflecting the change in musical and poetic style between Josquin’s composition of the lament, presumably in or just after Ockeghem’s death in 1497, and the era of Richafort, Gombert, and other post-Josquinian figures.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2012

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch