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Hyperion Records

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The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden (1399-1464)
Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune, France / Photograph © Paul M. R. Maeyaert, Etikhove-Maarkedal, Belgium
Track(s) taken from CDGIM029
Salle Church, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Steve C Smith & Peter Phillips
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: September 1994
Total duration: 29 minutes 48 seconds

'As one would expect with a group so experienced in sixteenth-century repertories, both English and Continental, this performance is characterized by great sensitivity to textual inflexion and to the many moments of that exquisite bonding of words and music that was to lead Monteverdi to credit Rore as one of the early masters of the seconda prattica … nevertheless, in the end it is Peter Phillips's ability to control the overall architecture of the music, as well as its detail, that provides the basis for a reading of such conviction; his direction, combined with The Tallis Scholars's strongly-focused singing and well-balanced ensemble, results in a gripping performance of rare beauty, intelligence and power' (Gramophone)

Missa Praeter rerum seriem
composer
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In one sense very little of Rore’s Mass is original composition, yet he parodies his model so resourcefully that the stated material seems to take on new perspectives. To Josquin’s original six voices Rore added an extra soprano part. He then turned one of the existing parts, the first alto, into a long-note cantus firmus line which sings the words ‘Hercules secundus dux Ferrarie quartus vivit et vivet’ throughout to the devotional song melody quoted by Josquin. Rore’s extra soprano line gives a new colour to the writing, creating a brighter sonority which seems to take the music out of the middle Renaissance period altogether, even occasionally hinting at the Baroque. The passage at ‘Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum’ in the Credo is almost pure Monteverdi.

The most impressive writing of all comes at the start of each of Rore’s Mass movements, where he develops the magisterial opening of Josquin’s motet. In the Kyrie Josquin’s version is given almost straight for lower voices, though Rore adds a new line in the second alto. In the Gloria an inversion of Josquin’s ascending scale is used alongside its original; this occurs again in the Credo in a more ornate form. But it is only in the Sanctus and Agnus Dei that the full potential of Rore’s two soprano parts becomes apparent in the context of this phrase, which seems to have expanded and broadened. The Sanctus opens with long rhapsodic lines in a widely-spaced sonority; the Agnus Dei goes a stage further in involving all the voices from the outset and for the first time underpinning everything with a statement of the song. In general the song is not heard until a movement or a section is well under way, when the extreme length of its notes effectively prevents it from blending into the texture. Only in two reduced-voice passages, the ‘Pleni’ and ‘Benedictus’ (both in the Sanctus), is it omitted altogether.

from notes by Peter Phillips © 1994

Other albums featuring this work
'The Tallis Scholars sing Flemish Masters' (CDGIM211)
The Tallis Scholars sing Flemish Masters
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM211  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 2' (GIMBX302)
Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 2
MP3 £15.99FLAC £15.99ALAC £15.99Buy by post £17.50 GIMBX302  4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
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