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Hyperion Records

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The Virgin Mary (Magnificat) (c1615) by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660)
Track(s) taken from CDH55326
Recording details: July 1992
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: March 1993
Total duration: 6 minutes 14 seconds

'One of the best choirs in the world. Unmissable' (Gramophone)

'A timely and revealing disc … glorious and radiant sound' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The exquisite performances under O'Donnell present the music to best advantage, given the masterly accomplishments of this choir' (Fanfare, USA)

Sacris solemniis
author of text
Hymn at First Vespers at Corpus Christi

Only one polyphonic verse of Peñalosa’s Corpus Christi Hymn Sacris solemniis survives—perhaps only one was ever written. In this recording, Bruno Turner’s reconstruction is used, so that for the complete Hymn Peñalosa’s polyphony alternates with the popular melody that was used in Spain from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. The Toledo books (1515) and almost all others for over four hundred years give the tune in black breves and semibreves. The polyphony incorporates this melody in its texture in a slower time, surrounding it with lively counterpoint. For the technically minded, the tune’s original black brevis is the equivalent of the white semibrevis of the polyphony, thus this same tune, when embedded in the polyphony, is slowed threefold.

from notes by Martyn Imrie © 1993

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