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: 5 minutes 17 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)

Musae Jovis
composer
6vv
author of text
In Josquinum a prato, Musicorum principem, Monodia

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Nicolas Gombert sets Musae Jovis in the Phrygian mode. Gombert was perhaps ten years younger than Appenzeller, being born in the early to mid-1490s, and his six-voice lament seems to be in the style of the 1530s, when most of his works appeared, rather than of Josquin’s year of death, 1521. Like Appenzeller he includes archaic elements, and in particular one that refers unmistakably to Josquin: the ‘Circumdederunt me’ tenor appears, in the long notes of an old-style cantus firmus, but here it is transposed down one note, beginning on E instead of F, and thus conforming to the Phrygian tonality of the piece. Since Josquin’s Nymphes des bois, itself a lament for an older composer, employed exactly this procedure with the ‘Requiem aeternam’ chant, the intention is clear. The comparative rarity with which Gombert employed cantus firmus technique underlines the significance of the gesture in this case. The style of the motet is a constant ebb and flow of counterpoint, with much less overt formal punctuation than Josquin’s music; unity is achieved by limiting the melodic material used, giving an introspective tone to the setting. The final statement of Josquin’s elevation to the heavens is marked with a turn to triple time.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2012

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch