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Hyperion Records

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Philip II of Spain by Anthonis (Antonio Moro) Mor (c1517/21-c1576-7)
Prado, Madrid / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55340
Recording details: June 1998
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: April 1999
Total duration: 7 minutes 27 seconds

'Anniversary CD of the year—and my personal favourite' (Gramophone)

'James O'Donnell and the Westminster Choir have surely come up with another stunning winner. Hyperion and all involved in this record deserve a very special accolade' (Choir & Organ)

'These performances show that Guerrero deserves his anniversary celebration' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A very important disc' (Early Music Review)

'A marvellously varied disc. More please' (Early Music)

'This is massive music, a broad rich landscape of astonishing power and beauty' (Classical Express)

'Una estupenda interpretación. Es un gran homenaje para un gran centenario' (Scherzo, Spain)

Magnificat octavi toni
composer
1563, revised 1584; Liber Vesperarum
author of text
Luke 1: 46-55

In 1563 Guerrero published a book of Magnificat settings to the eight tones (consisting of polyphonic music for the odd-numbered verses to alternate with the chanted even-numbered ones) and also a companion set in which the polyphony takes over the even-numbered verses. Thus Guerrero’s complete set consisted of sixteen Magnificats. In 1584, in his Liber Vesperarum, Guerrero republished some of these versions, revised (even recomposed in places) and with some new combinations of the verses. The 1584 version of the odd-verse Magnificat upon the eighth tone alternates with chant as usual but, at the end, the alternation is broken at the Lesser Doxology, ‘Gloria Patri …’ and ‘Sicut erat in principio …’ both being polyphonic; the former is for the standard four voices but in triple time, while the ‘Sicut erat …’ reverts to the duple measure and is expanded to six voices, the extra tenor carrying the chant melody while the first tenor is followed by the second treble part in imitative canon at the octave above—a splendid conclusion.

from notes by Bruno Turner ę 1999

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