Hyperion Records

Quatre motets pour le temps de NoŽl
author of text
Nos 1 & 2: Matins Reponsories for Christmas Day; No 3: Antiphon for the Octave of the Epiphany; No 4: Vespers Antiphon on Christmas Day

'A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey' (CDA67716)
A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67716 
'Poulenc: Gloria & motets' (CDA67623)
Poulenc: Gloria & motets
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67623 
'Poulenc: Mass & Motets' (CDH55448)
Poulenc: Mass & Motets
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55448  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Voces 8 Christmas' (SIGCD291)
Voces 8 Christmas
SIGCD291  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'A Choral Christmas' (SIGCD257)
A Choral Christmas
SIGCD257  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Christmas through the ages' (NOEL1)
Christmas through the ages
NOEL1  Super-budget price sampler — Download only  
No 1: O magnum mysterium
No 2: Quem vidistis pastores dicite
No 3: Videntes stellam
No 4: Hodie Christus natus est

Quatre motets pour le temps de NoŽl
These exquisite miniatures paint four colourful scenes from the nativity story. O magnum mysterium is the most profound: slow and (by Poulenc’s standards) harmonically austere, it grows in intensity toward the final repetition of the main text, via an intimate verse in praise of the Virgin. The text of Quem vidistis makes two demands of the shepherds, set in contrasting ways by Poulenc. ‘Who did you see?’ is a cantilène accompanied by searching quaver movement; by contrast, the imperative ‘Speak … and proclaim the birth of Christ’ is a trumpet blast worthy of the annunciatory angels themselves. The crystalline refrain of Videntes stellam evokes a placid and (of course) starlit night, through which the Magi travel with burgeoning excitement; this reaches a rich climax as they enter the stable and present their gifts; outside the star shines on, undisturbed. In the final motet, Hodie Christus natus est, the faithful make their response to the news with unbuttoned exuberance: ‘Gloria in excelsis Deo’ accompanied by popping champagne corks.

from notes by Robert Quinney © 2008

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for NOEL1 track 13
No 1: O magnum mysterium
Recording date
16 September 1993
Recording venue
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Poulenc: Mass & Motets (CDA66664)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: March 1994
    Deletion date: January 2011
    Superseded by CDH55448
  2. Poulenc: Mass & Motets (CDH55448)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: October 2013
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
  3. Christmas through the ages (NOEL1)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: October 2001
    Deletion date: November 2012
    Super-budget price sampler ó Download only
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