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Track(s) taken from CDA67614

Ne reminiscaris, Domine

author of text
from the Order for the Visitation of the Sick

The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice (conductor)
Recording details: September 2006
Queen's College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: September 2007
Total duration: 5 minutes 57 seconds


'It's one of very few discs of this repertoire I've been happy to play in its entirety, and then several times since. This is in part a tribute to Gombert … but also to The Brabant Ensemble and Stephen Rice … by encouraging an unusually individual and carefully balanced vocal response, he avoids the pitfalls of relentless consistency and arid elision … there is a welcome and (in this music) novel belief in the power of voices as voices … try the sopranos halfway through Hortus conclusus es for erotic Mariolatry at its most disconcertingly sensual. Arise, make haste, as they sing, and hear this music' (Gramophone)

'The Brabant Ensemble's exploration of the 'forgotten generation' of composers between Josquin and Palestrina is reviving an abundance of unwarrantedly neglected sacred polyphony. Judging by this splendid selection of motets, Gombert's neglect is particularly flagrant. In penitential pieces, such as Aspice Domine and Tribulatio et angustia, his lavish use of dissonance within a smooth-flowing yet intricately imitative style creates an atmosphere of almost unbearably intense and bitter anguish, whether contemplating a city laid waste or beseeching rescue from a foetid quagmire … these shapely and well-paced performances do full justice to Gombert's outstanding talent' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This attractive recording provised an excellent opportunity to wallow in his motets … the music is austere but beautiful, with plenty of anguished dissonances and false relations … the music is well-sung … the performers are evidently passionate about 16th-century Flemish music' (Early Music Review)

'This is impressively accomplished ensemble singing … Rice's own booklet notes provide fascinating insights into the music … it is this intelligent approach to the spirit of the text (there is a glorious moment in Hortus conclusus es when the soprano soars ethereally to the line 'arise, make haste my beloved'), coupled with outstanding tuning and balancing, which makes this such a distinguished group. The Brabant Ensemble are quickly establishing themselves as one of the more impressive English groups specializing in Renaissance music, and this, their fourth CD release, only increases their stature' (International Record Review)

'The sheer quality of his music. These 10 motets are notable for their richly glowing sonorities, their disciplined counterpoints, their intensity of expression and, most of all, their careful tailoring of music to text. There's the darkly erotic intensity of Hortus conclusus es, the angst-ridden, pentitential Tribulatio et angustia … the singing is meticulously balanced and blended, Stephen Rice shaping and pacing each work with exquisite judgement' (The Sunday Times)

'Aspice Domine, Ne reminiscaris, Domine and Tribulatio et angustia mine a rich seam of angst, and receive searing performances here … the singing is brightly supported, the texture crystalline' (Early Music)

'Virtually all of these works project an awe-inducing majesty and solemnity, unfolding over many minutes of nearly cadence-free waves of rich-textured polyphony. Pungent dissonances play an integral role in the overall structure, as do repeated-note fragments and brief melodic segments whose impact can be quite striking, especially when introduced in the treble register and then passed through the other voices. It would be impossible to name a highlight--the magnificent Tribulatio et angustia; the grand Aspice Domine; the profoundly moving Pater noster and Ave Maria--because all of these works and performances are exemplary, both as unique creations and as stylistically informed, modern realizations of some of the greatest, yet-to-be-fully-appreciated music of the 16th century. The 14-voice Brabant Ensemble, whose vibrant, perfectly-tuned sound often gives the impression of a larger group, knows the importance of phrasing, breath control, and long-lined dynamic modulation, all of which are essential to really fire up and fully illuminate these scores. The sound, from what proves to be the ideal acoustics of the chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, is perfectly balanced to allow us to hear each vocal line clearly while enabling the ensemble to properly resonate. This is a recording that demands and rewards multiple hearings … absolutely essential listening!' (Classics Today)

'This music is stunning, and the performance here is clear and bright, with perfect balance across the voice parts and the sustained lines. Highly recommended' (GScene)

'Les moments à couper le souffle ne manquent pas dans la dernière réalisation du Brabant Ensemble. Les amateurs de polyphonie de la Renaissance se réjouiront de voir apparaître des joyaux tels que Hortus conclusus es, aux invraisemblables chaînes de dissonances, ou une version du Inviolata qui, pour évoquer lointainement un modèle de Josquin, ne se situe pas moins dans un registre d'élégiaque mélancolie où Gombert surpasse tous ses contemporains' (Le Monde de la Musique, France)
The prayer for forgiveness Ne reminiscaris, Domine seems extremely restrained. Even this quiet plea for mercy is expressed in an intense way by Gombert, however. The phrase ‘Parce, Domine’ (‘Spare, Lord’), at the centre of the prayer, begins with an extremely static entry sung by sopranos and altos over a pedal note, and as the other voices enter with this melody the composer introduces large numbers of dissonant passing notes, on the beat, creating friction between the static and moving parts. The ending of the motet is resigned, as if to say that God may or may not forgive the sins in question, but that human action can no longer affect the situation.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2007

La prière de pardon Ne reminiscaris, Domine paraît extrêmement sobre. Mais, même cette paisible supplique de miséricorde, Gombert l’exprime avec intensité. La phrase «Parce, Domine» («Épargne, Seigneur»), au cœur de la prière, s’ouvre sur une entrée des plus statiques entonnée par les sopranos et par les altos sur une note de pédale; et, à mesure que les autres voix entrent avec cette mélodie, le compositeur introduit un grand nombre de notes de passage dissonantes, sur les temps de la mesure, provoquant une friction entre les parties statiques et mouvantes. La fin du motet est résignée, comme pour dire que Dieu peut ou non pardonner les péchés et que l’action de l’homme ne peut plus changer la situation.

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Rice © 2007

Ne reminiscaris, Domine, ein Gebet um Vergebung, sehr zurückhaltend. Doch selbst diese stille Bitte um Erbarmen drückt Gombert intensiv aus: die Phrase „Parce, Domine“ („Schone, Herr“) in der Mitte des Gebets beginnt mit einem äußerst statischen Einsatz der Soprane und Alte über einem Orgelton, und wenn die anderen Stimmen mit dieser Melodie einsetzen, führt der Komponist eine große Zahl dissonanter Durchgangsnoten auf den betonten Taktschlägen ein, was Spannung zwischen den statischen und den sich bewegenden Stimmen erzeugt. Der Schluss der Motette ist resigniert, als ob er sagen wollte, dass Gott die jeweiligen Sünden vergeben mag oder nicht, die Handlung des Menschen aber die Situation nicht mehr beeinflussen kann.

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

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