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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 59 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)

Ave virgo sanctissima
composer
5vv SSATB; 1560s
author of text
Old Spanish Antiphon for the Nativity of St John the Baptist, 24 June

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Francisco Guerrero’s five-voice Marian motet Ave virgo sanctissima was written in the 1560s. The Iberian fervour of Spanish Renaissance music is unmistakeable, and Guerrero ruled musical hearts and minds in late-sixteenth-century Seville. Ave virgo sanctissima employs a canon at the unison between the two treble parts, a feature which drives the music forward with each successive entry of the canonic voices. The masterstroke is Guerrero’s imitative use of the opening four notes of the solemn-tone Salve regina chant, which is triggered by the otherwise unrelated appearance of the word ‘Salve’. In the canonic upper voices the motif is heard three times, with increasing urgency, on the first, second, and fifth degrees of the mode.

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2013

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