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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: 2 minutes 20 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)

Hodie Christus natus est
composer
third volume of motets, 1575
author of text
based on the Magnificat Antiphon for Second Vespers, Christmas Day

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Hodie Christus natus est is a double choir (SSAB+ATTB) motet that comes from Palestrina’s third volume of motets published in Venice in 1575. The motet is based on the text of the Magnificat antiphon at Second Vespers on Christmas Day, interspersed with the traditional Christmas cries of ‘Noe, noe’. This is a wonderful piece of writing which brilliantly exploits the possibilities of effective contrast: by using the differing sonorities of a high choir and a low choir; by setting off slow-moving passages expressing the solemnity of the celebration of Christ’s birth against rapid antiphonal exchanges of joyful cries of ‘Noe, noe’; by using running passages to reflect the singing of the Angels and the rejoicing of the Archangels and the Just; and by reserving until the concluding section of the motet the use of triple time for the final joyful exchanges of ‘Noe’.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 2003

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