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Hyperion Records

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The Nativity (c1520) by Albrecht Altdorfer (c1480-1538)
Alte Pinakotek, München
Track(s) taken from CDGIM018
Salle Church, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Steve C Smith & Peter Phillips
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: September 1989
Total duration: 21 minutes 40 seconds

Missa Osculetur me
composer
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the Missa Osculetur me of Orlandus Lassus (1532–1594) everything is sonority: brilliant sounds created by using eight voices in the ‘Venetian’ double-choir arrangement, replete with high soprano parts and wide overall tessituras. In this, as in much else, he had effectively ceased to be a Flemish composer, his long years in Italy having taught him a more avant-garde style.

In fact Lassus’s three double-choir Masses – the other two are the Missa Vinum bonum and the Missa Bell’ Amfitrit’ altera – represented an important step in the general advance towards Baroque music. Andrea Gabrieli visited Lassus in Munich in the 1560s after Lassus himself had made repeated visits to Venice. Clearly he was influential in the development of the new idiom, and there is a certain irony in the fact that it was a Flemish composer, whose training was in techniques antipathetic to everything Baroque, who led the way. Nonetheless one admires how he instinctively avoided the tedium which later would beset so much polychoral writing and its too-obvious effects. Here his alternating phrases are quite long, so that simple imitation between the parts is possible; and he was careful to make a strong difference in sonority between passages for one choir and those for both choirs together. The result is an early, but genuinely virtuosic, exercise in an idiom which would last for at least another two hundred years.

from notes by Peter Phillips © 2009

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  
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