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Track(s) taken from CDA67959

Nymphes, nappés / Circumdederunt me

author of text

Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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Recording details: August 2010
Kloster Pernegg, Waldviertel, Austria
Produced by Colin Mason
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: August 2012
Total duration: 2 minutes 44 seconds

Cover artwork: The Dead Christ (c1480-1490) by Andrea Mantegna (c1431-1506)
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan / Alinari / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

The King's Singers


'Not only do the performances here range from genuine tenderness … to majestic splendour, but the balance is perfect and the melodic lines are absolutely clear, so that every detail of Richafort's remarkable contrapuntal writing can be heard … the other works on the disc are given similarly wonderful performances … Cinquecento's imploring rendition of the masterpiece that is Miserere mei, Deus is surely perfect in the way it balances a profound understanding, and projection, of its intricate counterpoint with its vast melodic sweep … if I could nominate this recording as 'Outstanding' twice over, I would do, for I have run out of superlatives. It is, quite simply, sublime' (International Record Review)

'Cinquecento's sound has a magic of its own' (Gramophone)

'Cinquecento give a more finely blended and balanced performance than I have yet heard from them, with spacious legato lines, breadth of vision and appreciation of the architecture and majestic solemnity of Richafort's 6-part polyphony, framed by gorgeous works by Josquin, his probable master. Vividly sung and recorded' (Choir & Organ)

'Musically inspired by Josquin, this is a majestic, expansive requiem … the shades of mourning are illuminated by moments of light and serenity—glimpses of a sublime hereafter. Cinquecento captures the work's meditative quality to profound effect, the all-male vocal ensemble creating an aptly plangent sonority and a tone of high seriousness … the group can also produce all the opulence and bloom of a much larger ensemble. Throughout, the singing is exquisitely controlled: arching polyphonic lines are beautifully shaped, textural contrasts subtly enhanced, never over-dramatised, and the voices—silken and effortless—seem to be suspended in amber' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Stephen Rice’s authoritative booklet notes are a valuable resource when it comes to placing the music in its historical context and delving further into the complexities of its creation, but the expressive warmth and sonority of Cinquecento’s voices, superbly recorded, are the source to which you will want to return for more and more. Superbly unified, the dynamic shading which brings forth leading voice lines and gently points to significant harmonic shifts are done so naturally that the music seems to enter your soul through some kind of osmosis rather than something so banal as mere listening' (MusicWeb International)
The ‘Circumdederunt’ plainsong was at one time thought of as ‘a favourite cantus firmus of Josquin’s’ (Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance), due to its being used in three compositions attributed to him. Two of these—like so many works—have now been convincingly removed from the Josquin canon, leaving only Nymphes, nappés as an authentic work incorporating this melody. Richafort’s debt to Josquin becomes clear from the seventeenth breve onwards, where the cantus firmus enters, followed three breves later—just as in the Requiem—by its accompanying voice at the upper fifth. Indeed John Milsom, who demonstrated the inauthenticity of the other two pieces, pointed out that Richafort quotes not only the canonic cantus firmus, but also several bars of polyphony from Nymphes, nappés in the Introit and Kyrie of the Requiem. Its counterpoint is highly suitable for such treatment, being full of the static harmony, twisting melodic lines, and falling third intervals which are characteristic of Josquin’s style in mournful pieces of this type.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2012

Le plain-chant «Circumdederunt» passa, à une époque, pour «l’un des cantus firmus préférés de Josquin» (Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance), et pour cause: on le retrouvait dans trois compositions qui lui étaient attribuées, même si, depuis, deux d’entre elles ont été—comme tant d’autres—retirées du canon josquinien, Nymphes, nappés restant la seule pièce authentique à incorporer cette mélodie. La dette de Richafort envers Josquin devient évidente à partir de la dix-septième brève, avec l’entrée du cantus firmus suivi, trois brèves plus tard—exactement comme dans le Requiem—, par sa voix accompagnante à la quinte supérieure. De fait, comme l’a souligné John Milsom, qui démontra l’inauthenticité des deux autres pièces, l’introït et le Kyrie du Requiem de Richafort citent non seulement le cantus firmus canonique, mais aussi plusieurs mesures polyphoniques de Nymphes, nappés. Son contrepoint se prête admirablement à pareil traitement, avec son harmonie statique, ses lignes mélodiques enroulées et ses intervalles de tierce descendante, typiques du style josquinien dans ce genre de pièces mélancoliques.

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Rice © 2012
Français: Hypérion

Man dachte einst, dass der „Circumdederunt“-Cantus „ein von Josquin besonders geschätzter Cantus firmus“ (Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance) sei—der Grund für diese Annahme war, dass er in drei ihm zugeschriebenen Kompositionen verarbeitet ist. Inzwischen jedoch sind zwei davon—wie so viele Werke—überzeugend aus dem Josquin’schen Oeuvre gestrichen worden, so dass nur noch Nymphes, nappés als authentisches Werk mit dieser Melodie übrigbleibt. Richaforts Verpflichtung gegenüber Josquin wird ab der 17. Brevis deutlich, wo der Cantus firmus einsetzt und sich drei Breven später—ebenso wie im Requiem—die Begleitstimme eine Quinte darüber dazugesellt. John Milsom, der demonstriert hat, dass die anderen beiden Stücke nicht authentisch sind, hat außerdem darauf hingewiesen, dass Richafort nicht nur den kanonischen Cantus firmus zitiert, sondern auch mehrere polyphone Takte aus Nymphes, nappés, die im Introitus und Kyrie des Requiems erklingen. Der darin enthaltene Kontrapunkt eignet sich besonders gut für eine solche Behandlung, da er voller statischer Harmonie, sich windenden melodischen Linien und fallenden Terzen ist, die für Josquins Stil in derartigen trauervollen Werken charakteristisch sind.

aus dem Begleittext von Stephen Rice © 2012
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Richafort: Requiem
Studio Master: SIGCD326Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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