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Track(s) taken from CDA67629

Pange lingua

composer
1868; Phyrgian mode; 4vv
author of text
Hymn at Vespers of Corpus Christi

Polyphony, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Recording details: January 2007
Ely Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: October 2007
Total duration: 5 minutes 9 seconds

Cover artwork: Ely Cathedral (detail) by Thomas Lound (1802-1861)
Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
1
Pange lingua  [5'09]

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Corydon Singers, Matthew Best (conductor)

Reviews

'Peace and goodwill would be the order of the day if Father Christmas could hand out to all and sundry copies of Polyphony's recording of the Bruckner's Mass in E minor. No disc I've heard this year comes near it for sheer beauty … Polyphony, whose sound is … smoothly rounded, fully blended and sumptuous … Layton produces such gorgeous sounds from his singers that the overall listening experience is infinitely satisfying … the seven unaccompanied motets are absolute gems. An ethereal account of Ave Maria has a breadth and grandeur which belies its short time-span; as the vocal lines crowd in on each other, the effect is nothing short of electrifying. And popular as it is, if there has to be a 'definitive' interpretation on disc of Locus iste, this has to be it. Put it simply, we're unlikely to hear choral singing as fine as this for a good few years to come' (Gramophone)

'This really excellent offering from Polyphony … Polyphony trumps all others for beauty of tone … in the Benedictus, too, musical sense arises from transparency and intelligent phrasing … the performances of the motets are excellent, too, painting nuanced pictures of these vocally and philosophically stratospheric pieces' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Polyphony and the Britten Sinfonia catch the music's starkness, exaltation and mysticism as movingly as I have heard. This is a searching performance, with soft singing of awed intensity, but also an unusually dramatic one. Stephen Layton never allows Bruckner's music, even at its most unearthly, to become becalmed; and he builds climaxes of molten intensity in, say, the Sanctus, or the fervent motet Christus factus est. A glorious disc of music that strives for, and ultimately attains, a state of transcendent peace' (The Daily Telegraph)

'I wasn’t prepared for the excellence of this program … the musicianship is so sophisticated, so meticulous that it’s impossible not to get swept up in what the singers are doing … what really captures my attention is the spectrum of vocal colors these singers create in pianissimo range … Maestro Layton’s performances inspire the soul even as they break the heart with their intense beauty' (American Record Guide)

'This album finds the composer secure in his spiritual home, serving God in music transcendent. Stephen Layton's reading of the Second Mass articulates sublime, prayer-like qualities routinely overlooked and underplayed by others. The approach … is revelatory, rich in contrasts, fervent outbursts and symphonic tension … an outstanding release' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The performance is strong and characterful: beautifully sung by Polyphony and subtly, imaginatively accompanied by the Britten Sinfonia's wind band … the group sing with ravishing, lustrous tone throughout and phrase and colour magnificently. Their dynamic and dramatic range is great and tension is continually racked up under the baton of Stephen Layton, though never at the expense of vocal purity, profundity of expression or dignity of delivery' (MusicOHM.com)
For the Pange lingua of 1868 Bruckner returned to the text that had inspired him as an eleven- or twelve- year-old. In character it is relatively simple and hymn-like, with little rhythmic counterpoint; but the exploitation of the colours of the Phrygian Mode to match the dark mystery of the text is very telling. Astonishingly, when Witt published Pange lingua, he took it on himself to ‘correct’ the music extensively, in the process softening some of its most expressive dissonances—to Bruckner’s extreme displeasure. Needless to say, it is the unbowdlerized version that is performed here.

from notes by Stephen Johnson © 2007

Pour le Pange lingua de 1868, Bruckner retrouva le texte qui l’avait inspiré à l’âge de onze ou douze ans. Ce motet relativement simple et hymnique présente peu de contrepoint rythmique; mais l’exploitation des couleurs du mode phrygien, afin d’égaler le sombre mystère du texte, est fort éloquente. Curieusement, au moment de publier ce Pange lingua, Witt prit sur lui de beaucoup en «corriger» la musique, adoucissant au passage certaines des dissonances les plus expressives—au très grand dam de Bruckner. C’est, il va sans dire, la version non expurgée qui figure sur ce disque.

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Johnson © 2007
Français: Hyperion Records Ltd

Für das Pange lingua von 1868 kehrte Bruckner zu dem Text zurück, der ihn als Elf- oder Zwölfjährigen inspiriert hatte. Im Charakter ist es relativ schlicht und hymnisch, mit wenig rhythmischem Kontrapunkt; aber die Ausnutzung der Farben des phrygischen Modus um dem dunklen Mysterium des Textes zu entsprechen, ist ausdrucksstark. Als Witt das Pange lingua veröffentlichte, nahm er es erstaunlicherweise auf sich, den Text zu „verbessern“, indem er—zu Bruckners großem Verdruss—einige der ausdrucksstärksten Dissonanzen entschärfte. Selbstverständlich wird hier die un-„bereinigte“ Fassung aufgeführt.

aus dem Begleittext von Stephen Johnson © 2007
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

Other albums featuring this work

Bruckner: motets
CDA66062
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