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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67596
Recording details: September 2004
Merton College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by David Skinner
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: June 2006
Total duration: 5 minutes 8 seconds

'A gem of a CD' (Gramophone)

'A superbly balanced and expressive performance by the Brabant Ensemble shows the work to great advantage' (Early Music Review)

'The performances are excellent; supported by the well-captured acoustic of Merton College, Oxford, the singers negotiate the often highly imitative textures with great fluency. Well-shaped phrasing, good balance and generally subtle dynamic inflexions further contribute to the beauty of the sound … these are really very fine performances of rarely heard music' (International Record Review)

'Apart from the group's accomplished vocal work, the strong point of this disc is the profound understanding that is conveyed in the notes by Martin Ham. We can expect more of this repertoire from the group. But don't wait to get this one, for it is neatly organized and beautifully sung' (Fanfare, USA)

'This recording sets an example of how things should be done … a programme that is both intellectually and musically attractive' (Goldberg)

'An unqualified delight' (MusicWeb International)

'Throughout this recording the choir demonstrates the exceeding beauty of Crecquillon’s music. At certain moments it sears the soul so that one can hardly stand to listen to it, like too bright a light makes one want to close [one's] eyes. What could possibly be more fitting for a discussion of death and everlasting life?' (Sacred Music, USA)

'Le chef et musicologue anglais révèle un rare talent de découvreur. Construire un programme autour de Mort m'a privé est une idée merveilleuse' (Diapason, France)

Cur Fernande pater
composer
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The funerary motet Cur Fernande pater is for Elizabeth of Poland, the Emperor Charles’s niece and a particular favourite of his. She had married Sigismund, King of Poland, in 1543; her leaving of the Habsburg courts had been marked with the gift of a chanson and a Mass based upon it, both by Crecquillon. Elizabeth died in 1545, possibly poisoned—the victim of intrigue in the Polish court, it was rumoured. Charles and the Archduke Ferdinand, her father, were together when the news reached them. A few days later, formal obsequies were held, attended by representatives from a number of different countries as well as by Elizabeth’s family. Again, Crecquillon was called on to provide suitable music and, despite the pedestrian text with which he had to work and the limited time, he produced a work that conveys the very real emotion that Elizabeth’s family must have felt.

from notes by Martin Ham © 2006

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