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Jesus appears to the disciples together under one roof.
Biblioteca Reale, Turin. Codex de Predis, Italian, 15th century, folio 137r / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55449
Recording details: March 2002
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 2003
Total duration: 29 minutes 40 seconds

'The renowned choir are on top form as they respond to Palestrina's majesty … highly recommended' (Gramophone)

'This is a thoughtful, carefully analysed performance—Baker and the Westminster choir communicate a clear sense of the structural logic … the singers are excellent … virtually flawless … shut your eyes and you can almost smell the incense. Very warmly recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Purposeful performances by a choir for whom this music is a staple diet, and whose slightly edgy, 'continental' treble sound is ideally suited to it' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Here [Martin Baker] reinforces his reputation and that of the choir in energetic accounts of music by Palestrina celebrating Pentecost' (The Guardian)

'Palestrina's mellifluous counterpoint resonates like whipped cream in the cathedral acoustics, yet the clarity and sensitivity of texture is exemplary … delicious' (The Scotsman)

'These performances are as near peerless as is possible in an imperfect world. An essential addition to any Palestrina collection. Magnificent music, magnificently recorded' (Goldberg)

Missa Dum complerentur
composer
1599; Missarum liber octavus
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Kyrie  [4'42] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [5'52] LatinEnglish
Credo  [8'49] LatinEnglish

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
It was upon the motet Dum complerentur that Palestrina based his Missa Dum complerentur, which appeared in the 1599 Missarum liber octavus published in Venice. The Mass shows Palestrina’s parody technique at its most brilliant. The motet’s vast array of musical ideas are worked through with a dazzling inven­ti­veness, as the composer expands, contracts and alters accor­ding to the demands of the new text, that of the proper of the Mass.

All five sections begin with a variant of the motet’s opening, but the way in which the rest of the model’s material is treated thereafter varies considerably from section to section. It is in the Gloria that the model’s identity is most clearly audible, though the original order of the phrases is not maintained; it is in many respects the most ‘workmanlike’ of the sections of the Mass, dispatching as it does its considerable quantity of text with efficiency and utter certainty, liberally employing declamatory writing for the purpose. In the Credo, on the other hand, the music of the motet is treated with ever-increasing freedom, extrapolating from the model and developing. Of particular note is the way in which the descending figure that accompanies the word ‘Alleluia’ is kept in reserve and used only at certain significant points, notably the two visions of the Kingdom to come to be found in the text of the Creed, after ‘Et resurrexit’ and at the end, ‘et vitam venturi saeculi’.

The Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, on the other hand, while they also take the music in new directions, show their basis in the motet much more clearly, and attain a luminous majesty in their finely sculpted lines. In the Benedictus, however, the thematic deconstruction achieved by the double imitative point takes us into quite a different realm, revisited in the second Agnus Dei, which brings back the descending music of the ‘Alleluia’ in its final supplications for peace.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 2003

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