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Hyperion Records

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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: 13 minutes 41 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)

Magnificat sexti toni
composer
author of text
Luke 1: 46-55

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Relatively infrequently heard are the Magnificats, which are alternatim settings. The six-voice Magnificat on the sixth tone is one jewel among the many to be found in Palestrina’s numerous settings of this text. Here the scoring favours the lower voices, giving that richness of sonority which is characteristic of the famous Missa Papae Marcelli, shot through with rays of light from the upper voices. There is palpable joy in the way Palestrina responds to the text: two of the most striking moments in this particular setting are the sublime series of cascades at ‘salutari meo’ and the myste­rious majesty of ‘et sanctum nomen eius’. Both of these remind us that Palestrina was not only a model of liturgical propriety and contrapuntal perfection, but an inspired melodist, able to react with genuine sensitivity to the texts of the Church.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 2003

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