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Hyperion Records

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Aztec shield (detail) (c1500).
Museum für Völkerkunde, Vienna
Track(s) taken from CDA67380
Recording details: October 2002
All Saints, Tooting, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: April 2003
Total duration: 5 minutes 26 seconds

'This wonderfully colourful collection puts the vivid vocal qualities of Jeffrey Skidmore's virtuoso choir Ex Cathedra into the foreground … sumptuously realised with a varied—but historically appropriate—panoply of voices and instruments … a richly rewarding CD … I have been driving around with it in my car and my 11-year old son now prefers it to David Bowie … thoroughly recommended' (Gramophone)

'fascinatingly varied in idiom and influence, and Skidmore has unearthed some real gems' (Choir & Organ)

'The expressive range is astonishing … a delight to commend' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Ex Cathedra has unearthed some magnificent music here; there are plenty of fascinating discoveries, performed with great feeling and panache, and with potent seasoning from the period instruments. The disc has the markings of a bestseller, and certainly deserves to be' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Jeffrey Skidmore unearths some scintillating examples of the Old World meeting the New, with Renaissance polyphony underpinned by African-Latin drums. The result is only a few beats removed from modern examples of Catholic worship. A fascinating disc' (The Independent)

'immaculately performed … fascinating' (The Guardian)

'This is one of the most exciting releases I've seen in awhile … The performance is flawless, with a wide range of emotional expression; the sound is excellent' (American Record Guide)

'this really is an irresistible recording, offering a wealth of styles and colours and plenty of South American sunshine. Buy it and discover the New World for yourself' (International Record Review)

'Hypnotically good … this is one of the most eye-opening CDs—or should I say ear-opening—that I have heard this year. What a magical concoction of sounds—and what brilliant playing!' (Classic FM)

'terrific music, terrific singing' (The Times)

'This is arguably the most original CD of the year, and it's generated a huge number of enquiries from Classic FM listeners. Jeffrey Skidmore and Ex Cathedra have tapped a rich seam of baroque choral music … Do not be put off by the unfamiliarity of the composers; this is wonderful music' (Classic FM Magazine)

'extremely rewarding, bringing yet further evidence of the richness of Latin American Baroque music … the performances are very accomplished indeed … splendid disc' (Fanfare, USA)

'this recording is highly recommended … These are polished, emotionally engaged performances, brightly recorded, of fascinating, exciting repertoire' (Early Music Today)

'stunning … choral music of the most vibrant quality imaginable, performed by Ex Cathedra with equally vigorous zeal … the whole background is fascinatingly documented in Skidmore's own invaluable insert-note … all vocalists display the group's customary virtuosity in a range of languages … unmissable' (Birmingham Post)

'Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore are first-rate ambassadors for this music … the overall sound is beautiful and the performance, from instrumentalists and singers, has great conviction and energy … An album of unexpectedly wicked delight' (BBCi)

Versa est in luctum
composer
1598; 6vv; for the memorial of Philip II of Spain in Toledo Cathedral; 'Ad exequias Philip. II Cathol. Regis Hisp.'; published Liber primus Missarum, Madrid, 1602
author of text
Job; Office of the Dead

Other recordings available for download
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
Alonso Lobo’s elegiac masterpiece Versa est in luctum was written for Philip’s memorial at Toledo Cathedral. It was published in the composer’s Liber primus missarum (Madrid, 1602) and is headed ‘Ad exequias Philip. II Cathol. Regis Hisp.’. It is one of a group of seven motets which follow six of Lobo’s Masses and they are described as ‘for devout singing at solemn Mass’. It is possible that Versa est in luctum was sung at the Missa pro defunctis which concluded the agenda mortuorum held at San Jerónimo el Real, the church, monastery and palace favoured by Philip in Madrid. There, on 19 October, the Archbishop of Toledo was the presiding celebrant of the final Requiem Mass. The proposed order of service (which survives) allowed for a motet to be sung at the Elevation of the Host, between the Sanctus and Benedictus. If Lobo was there with his singers, part of the Archbishop’s customary entourage, his motet may well have been sung. That is to speculate: what is certain is that this beautiful work has now become a much performed and frequently recorded favourite of choirs, professional and amateur.

from notes by Bruno Turner © 1998


Other albums featuring this work
'Lobo: Missa Maria Magdalene' (CDGIM031)
Lobo: Missa Maria Magdalene
'Mortuus est Philippus Rex' (CDH55248)
Mortuus est Philippus Rex
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55248  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'New World Symphonies – Baroque Music from Latin America' (CDA30030)
New World Symphonies – Baroque Music from Latin America
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £8.50 CDA30030  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series  
'Requiem' (CDGIM205)
Requiem
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM205  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Victoria: Requiem' (CDGIM012)
Victoria: Requiem
'Victoria: The Victoria Collection' (GIMBX304)
Victoria: The Victoria Collection
MP3 £15.99FLAC £15.99ALAC £15.99 GIMBX304  Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only  

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