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Hyperion Records

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Altarpiece, Lisbon Cathedral.
Track(s) taken from CDA66725
Recording details: January 1994
Chapel of All Souls College, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: May 1994
Total duration: 3 minutes 42 seconds

Ave virgo sanctissima
composer
5vv; 1560s
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)
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Westminster Cathedral Choir, David Hill (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
'Renaissance Radio' (CDGIM212)
Renaissance Radio
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM212  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Treasures of the Spanish Renaissance' (CDA66168)
Treasures of the Spanish Renaissance
MP3 £5.25FLAC £5.25ALAC £5.25Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66168  Archive Service   Download currently discounted

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