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Track(s) taken from CDA67749

Quid non ebrietas?

author of text
Epistulae I, 5: 16-19

Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: June 2009
Wallfahrtskirche, St Wolfgang bei Weitra, Austria
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: June 2010
Total duration: 1 minutes 56 seconds

Cover artwork: Portrait of Adrian Willaert. An unknown artist (18th century)
Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna


‘A dissonant motet on drunkenness and a hymn to the Holy Shroud … are among the treasures here, sung by the accomplished ensemble Cinquecento … a stimulating disc’ (The Observer)

‘A disc which combines one of the finest vocal ensembles in Europe currently at the height of its power with the richly scored and constantly inventive music of Adrian Willaert promises to be a revelation … the singing throughout is superbly blended, nuanced, tuned and expressive’ (Early Music Review)

‘A beautifully conceived and immaculately realised sequence, sung with simple directness by the six male voices of Cinquecento’ (The Guardian)

‘The magnificent Missa Mente tota … a tour de force … the fluidity and flexibilty of Cinquecento's sound means that every melodic line of the work is audible … their placement of chords, too, is absolutely precise, but the precision and suavity never come at the cost of passion—these singers know how to make abstruse polyphony sound genuinely exciting … this is a very fine disc indeed; I suspect that if Willaert could hear it he might think that he'd found his ideal performers’ (International Record Review)
Quid non ebrietas? is an early composition of Willaert’s. Its experimental nature has not only caused lively musicological debate, but the work was already subject to polemic at Willaert’s time. In a letter of May 1524, the Bolognese theorist Giovanni Spataro reports that Willaert had sent the work to Pope Leo X, whose singers had not been capable of deciphering and performing it. Quid non ebrietas? is indeed intended as a musical puzzle. The text is based on a passage in Horace’s Epistulae I, 5 and concerns the ‘miracle of drunkenness’, which ‘unlocks secrets’ (‘operta recludit’) and ‘teaches skills’ (‘addocet artes’). These words seem to have inspired Willaert to a compositional tour de force. The notation suggests that the work ends on a seventh D–E, which would have caused intolerable dissonance. However, Willaert conceived the Tenor in such a way that it runs through the complete circle of fifths via the successive addition of flats. This means that the final note E should actually be sung as E double flat, or D. Willaert’s Quid non ebrietas? can thus be considered a major contribution to the development of equal temperament.

from notes by Katelijne Schiltz © 2010

Oeuvre du jeune Willaert, Quid non ebrietas?, déjà controversée en son temps, a, par sa nature expérimentale, soulevé un vif débat musicologique. Dans une lettre de mai 1524, le théoricien bolognais Giovanni Spataro rapporte que Willaert l’avait envoyée au pape Léon X, dont les chanteurs s’étaient, cependant, avérés incapables de la déchiffrer et de l’interpréter. De fait, elle est conçue comme une devinette musicale. Son texte, fondé sur un passage des Epistulae I, 5 d’Horace, s’intéresse aux «miracles de l’ivresse» qui «dévoile les secrets» («operta recludit») et «enseigne de nouveaux arts» («addocet artes»), des paroles qui semblent avoir inspiré à Willaert un tour de force compositionnel. La notation suggère que l’œuvre s’achève sur une septième ré–mi, source d’intolérables dissonances. Toutefois, Willaert conçut le Tenor de manière à lui faire parcourir tout le cycle des quintes grâce à l’ajout successifs de bémols. La note finale mi devrait donc être chantée, en réalité, comme un mi double bémol, ou ré. Ainsi Quid non ebrietas? peut-elle être regardée comme une importante contribution au développement du tempérament égal.

extrait des notes rédigées par Katelijne Schiltz © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Quid non ebrietas? ist ein Frühwerk Willaerts. Seine experimentelle Anlage hat nicht nur für lebhafte musikwissenschaftliche Diskussionen gesorgt, sondern war bereits zu Willaerts Zeit Gegenstand einer Polemik. In einem Brief vom Mai 1524 berichtet der Theoretiker Giovanni Spataro aus Bologna, dass Willaert das Werk an Leo X. geschickt habe, dessen Sänger jedoch nicht in der Lage gewesen seien, es zu entziffern oder gar aufzuführen. Quid non ebrietas? ist tatsächlich als musikalisches Puzzle angelegt. Der Text bezieht sich auf eine Passage aus Horaz’ Epistulae (Buch I, 5), die sich mit den Wundern der Trunkenheit befasst, die „das Verborgene enthüllt“ („operta recludit“) und „neue Künste lehrt“ („addocet artes“). Diese Worte regten Willaert offenbar zu einer kompositorischen Meisterleistung an. Dem Notentext zufolge endet das Werk mit einer Septime (D–E), was für untragbare Dissonanzen gesorgt hätte. Willaert legte jedoch den Tenor so an, dass er den gesamten Quintenzirkel unter sukzessiver Hinzufügung von Bs durchläuft. Das bedeutet, dass die Endnote E mit einem Doppel-b, bzw. als D gesungen werden sollte. Willaerts Quid non ebrietas? ist somit ein wichtiger Beitrag in der Entwicklung der gleichschwebenden Stimmung.

aus dem Begleittext von Katelijne Schiltz © 2010
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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