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Track(s) taken from CDA66850

Ave verum corpus

4vv; Gradualia I (1605)
author of text
Hymn to the Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi

Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
Recording details: June 1995
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: February 1996
Total duration: 4 minutes 18 seconds

Cover artwork: The Coronation of the Virgin by Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (d1455)

Other recordings available for download

The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker (conductor)
Winchester Cathedral Choir, David Hill (conductor)
Laudibus, Michael Brewer (conductor)
The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (conductor)
The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (conductor)
Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks (conductor)
Jesus College Choir Cambridge, Mark Williams (conductor)


'The answer to many prayers; a blockbusting survey of choral masterpieces performed by a choir of exceptional calibre' (Classic FM Magazine)

'For anyone eager to sample varied music from the Golden Age of polyphony this is a perfect disc' (Classic CD)

'If ever a programme was right up a choir's street, then this is it! From the fanfare-like opening of Exultate Deo and its soul-mates by Viadana, Gabrieli, Byrd and Monteverdi, through the linear beauties of Ave verum corpus (as set by Byrd and Philips) and Parsons' Ave Maria, the imploring devotion of Lotti's incomparable Crucifixus and the serenity of Tallis's O nata lux, all is brought glowingly alive. A real joy' (Organists' Review)
Gradualia includes the four-voice motet Ave verum corpus, which sets words specified in the Catholic liturgy for use on the feast of Corpus Christi. Today no composition by Byrd is performed and recorded more often than this one, partly because it is such a gem, partly because it offers such rich opportunities for expressive singing, and partly because it is technically not hard for choirs to sing. Nonetheless this motet, like Byrd’s Masses, attained its popularity only in the modern era; being strictly a Catholic work, it was totally shunned by English church musicians until its revival by Catholic choirs late in the nineteenth century. In an age of greater religious tolerance its popularity quickly spread, and by a pleasing twist of fortune Byrd’s Ave verum corpus is now a staple not only of Catholic choral worship, but of Anglican too. Ave verum corpus at Evensong: again, Byrd would have been amazed.

from notes by John Milsom © 2014

Le cycle de Gradualia comprend le motet à quatre voix Ave verum corpus, qui met en musique le texte que la liturgie catholique assigne à la fête de Corpus Christi. De nos jours, aucune composition de Byrd n’est plus jouée, plus enregistrée que celle-ci—il faut dire que c’est un joyau, se prêtant abondamment au chant expressif, et qui n’est pas techniquement trop difficile pour les chœurs. Néanmoins, comme les messes de Byrd, ce motet ne fut pas populaire avant l’époque moderne; strictement catholique, il fut totalement boudé par les musiciens d’église anglais jusqu’à sa résurrection par des chœurs catholiques, à la fin du XIXe siècle. Dans cet âge de plus grande tolérance religieuse, il gagna rapidement en popularité et, par un plaisant coup du sort, il fait désormais partie intégrante du culte choral et catholique, et anglican. Un Ave verum corpus à l’Evensong: là encore, Byrd en eût été stupéfait.

extrait des notes rédigées par John Milsom © 2014
Français: Hypérion

In den Gradualia findet sich die vierstimmige Motette Ave verum corpus, in der der Text vertont ist, der in der katholischen Liturgie für Fronleichnam vorgegeben ist. Heute wird kein Werk Byrds öfter aufgeführt und eingespielt als dieses—einerseits ist es ein besonders gelungenes Werk, andererseits bietet sich hier reichlich Gelegenheit für expressiven Gesang und schließlich ist der technische Anspruch für den Chor nicht sonderlich hoch. Trotzdem ist diese Motette, ebenso wie die Messen Byrds, erst in der modernen Zeit so populär geworden; als ausgewiesen katholisches Werk wurde es von den Kirchenmusikern Englands gemieden, bis katholische Chöre es im späten 19. Jahrhundert wieder in ihr Repertoire aufnahmen. In einem Zeitalter größerer religiöser Toleranz erfreute sich dieses Werk zusehends großer Beliebtheit und dank einer erfreulichen Wendung in der Geschichte ist das Ave verum corpus heute nicht nur ein Standardwerk der katholischen, sondern auch der anglikanischen Chorliteratur. Ave verum corpus beim Evensong: Byrd wäre auch darüber überaus erstaunt gewesen.

aus dem Begleittext von John Milsom © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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