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Hyperion Records

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Nativity (1527) by Lorenzo Lotto (c1480-1556)
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67396
Recording details: February 2003
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2003
Total duration: 4 minutes 15 seconds

'This is a thrilling recording of Palestrina's music for the Christmas season' (The Guardian)

'All the familiar qualities that serve to make Westminster unique among Britain's cathedral choirs are in evidence here … the crucial added ingredient is singing of a passion and conviction that reminds us that this music is the choir's lifeblood. This is unquestionably one of the glories of the year' (Goldberg)

Alma redemptoris mater a 8 I
composer
8vv SATB SATB; Cappella Giulia version
author of text
Antiphon to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Advent to the Feast of the Purification

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Alma redemptoris mater is a text of considerable antiquity and appears in several thirteenth-century motets. In the Roman liturgy it is an antiphon to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is sung during Advent and until the Feast of the Purification. Palestrina made three settings of this text, a paribus vocibus setting for four high voices, which was included in his second book of four-part motets published in Venice in 1596, and two eight-part settings, which were not issued in printed editions in Palestrina’s lifetime. These were later transcribed by Haberl in the nineteenth century from manuscripts then in the archives of the Cappella Giulia and of the Collegium Romanum. The version sung here is the Cappella Giulia setting, which is written in a fuller and more polyphonic style than the other and, with its constantly changing textures and rich sonorities, achieves a great sense of strength and spaciousness.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 2003

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