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Hyperion Records

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The Immaculate Conception (detail) by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660)
Reproduced by permission of The Trustees, The National Gallery, London
Track(s) taken from CDA66168
Recording details: July 1985
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: December 1986
Total duration: 5 minutes 33 seconds

Ave virgo sanctissima
composer
1566; 5vv
author of text
Old Spanish Antiphon for the Nativity of St John the Baptist, 24 June

Other recordings available for download
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
A Capella Portuguesa, Owen Rees (conductor)
Magnificat, Philip Cave (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
One of the features of Guerrero’s music is the number of outstanding motets he wrote on texts praising the Virgin, to such a degree that commentators in his lifetime and beyond have been tempted to say that he had a fixation about her. His contemporaries even called him ‘El cantor de Maria’. But this is really a tribute to the power of his music, since Mary has been of central importance to most Catholic composers, even if they could not match Guerrero’s balance and serenity. Famous is Ave virgo sanctissima, which became so popular in Guerrero’s lifetime that it was regarded as the quintessentially perfect Marian motet and used as a parody model by a host of composers, many of them Flemish. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this masterpiece is that the intense emotion is generated within the confines of a canonic structure: the two sopranos parts echo each other throughout at an eight-beat interval, yet they move so smoothly and effortlessly that it would be easy to assume that there was no complexity involved. The phrase at ‘Margarita preciosa’ (‘as precious as a pearl’) is one of the loveliest in all renaissance music.

from notes by Peter Phillips © 2005


Other albums featuring this work
'Guerrero: Missa Surge propera' (CDGIM040)
Guerrero: Missa Surge propera
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £15.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £15.00 CDGIM040  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Masters of The Royal Chapel, Lisbon' (CDA66725)
Masters of The Royal Chapel, Lisbon
'Renaissance Radio' (CDGIM212)
Renaissance Radio
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM212  2CDs for the price of 1  
'The Golden Age, Vol. 1 – Europe' (CKD052)
The Golden Age, Vol. 1 – Europe
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD052  Download only  

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