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Hyperion Records

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The Annunciation with two saints and four prophets (1333) by Simone Martini (1284-1344)
& Lippo Memmi (fl1317-1347). Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67938
Recording details: October 2011
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: January 2013
Total duration: 4 minutes 31 seconds

'The choir is on excellent form and the recorded sound seems perfectly to capture a sense of place, of atmosphere' (Gramophone)

'This is an album for those who love the acoustic, the atmosphere and the traditions of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in London … the pacing and cohesion of the Agnus Dei of Paelstrina's Missa Emendemus in Melius is accomplished and moving, and their singing of plainsong with organ second-to-none' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The true musical spirit of the Lenten season … is to be found in the ancient antiphons, psalms and motets which have been part of the liturgical fabric of the season for centuries. This is what we have here, and an intensely beautiful CD it makes too … nobody could remain untouched by the profound beauty and timelessness of this music, and given these unaffected, sensitive and fluent performances from a choir which has been singing Lenten music in a liturgical context for decades, the result is something very special indeed … this is a beautifully devised programme, sung with ineffable perceptiveness by the Westminster choristers and recorded with utterly natural atmosphere by the Hyperion team' (International Record Review)

Emendemus in melius
composer
5vv; Cantiones sacrae, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, 1575
author of text
Responsory on Ash Wednesday

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
William Byrd’s five-voice setting of the Ash Wednesday motet Emendemus in melius was published in 1575 in the Cantiones sacrae, a publication issued jointly by Byrd and his supposed teacher Thomas Tallis. The collection includes seventeen motets by Tallis and seventeen by Byrd, and was published to celebrate the completion of the seventeenth year of Elizabeth I’s reign. Emendemus in melius is the fourth motet in the collection, but the first by Byrd (since Tallis, the more senior composer, provided the first three). This pole-position placement is testament to the affection that Byrd himself held for this masterly composition. The astonishingly uplifting part-writing at the words ‘et propter honorem’ honours not only the name of God, but also the monarch who sponsored the publication.

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2013

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