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Track(s) taken from CDA67938

Ave virgo sanctissima

5vv SSATB; 1560s
author of text
Old Spanish Antiphon for the Nativity of St John the Baptist, 24 June

Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: October 2011
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: January 2013
Total duration: 4 minutes 59 seconds

Cover artwork: The Annunciation with two saints and four prophets (1333) by Simone Martini (1284-1344)
& Lippo Memmi (fl1317-1347). Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'The choir is on excellent form and the recorded sound seems perfectly to capture a sense of place, of atmosphere' (Gramophone)

'This is an album for those who love the acoustic, the atmosphere and the traditions of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in London … the pacing and cohesion of the Agnus Dei of Paelstrina's Missa Emendemus in Melius is accomplished and moving, and their singing of plainsong with organ second-to-none' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The true musical spirit of the Lenten season … is to be found in the ancient antiphons, psalms and motets which have been part of the liturgical fabric of the season for centuries. This is what we have here, and an intensely beautiful CD it makes too … nobody could remain untouched by the profound beauty and timelessness of this music, and given these unaffected, sensitive and fluent performances from a choir which has been singing Lenten music in a liturgical context for decades, the result is something very special indeed … this is a beautifully devised programme, sung with ineffable perceptiveness by the Westminster choristers and recorded with utterly natural atmosphere by the Hyperion team' (International Record Review)
Francisco Guerrero’s five-voice Marian motet Ave virgo sanctissima was written in the 1560s. The Iberian fervour of Spanish Renaissance music is unmistakeable, and Guerrero ruled musical hearts and minds in late-sixteenth-century Seville. Ave virgo sanctissima employs a canon at the unison between the two treble parts, a feature which drives the music forward with each successive entry of the canonic voices. The masterstroke is Guerrero’s imitative use of the opening four notes of the solemn-tone Salve regina chant, which is triggered by the otherwise unrelated appearance of the word ‘Salve’. In the canonic upper voices the motif is heard three times, with increasing urgency, on the first, second, and fifth degrees of the mode.

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2013

Le motet marial à cinq voix Ave virgo sanctissima de Francisco Guerrero date des années 1560 et l’on y reconnaît bien la ferveur toute ibérique de la musique renaissante espagnole—en cette fin du XVIe siècle, Guerrero gouvernait les cœurs et les esprits sévillans. Son Ave virgo sanctissima utilise un canon à l’unisson entre les deux parties de treble, ce qui tire la musique vers l’avant à chaque entrée successive des voix canoniques. Le coup de génie de Guerrero, c’est son usage imitatif des quatre premières notes du plain-chant Salve regina, sur un ton solennel, que déclenche l’apparition, par ailleurs sans rapport aucun, du mot «Salve». Aux voix supérieures canoniques, ce motif est entendu trois fois, de plus en plus instamment, sur les premier, deuxième et cinquième degrés du mode.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeremy Summerly © 2013
Français: Hypérion

Francisco Guerreros fünfstimmige marianische Motette Ave virgo sanctissima entstand in den 1560er Jahren. Die iberische Leidenschaft der Musik der spanischen Renaissance ist unverkennbar: Guerrero beherrschte die musikalischen Herzen und Gemüter Sevillas im späten 16. Jahrhundert. In Ave virgo sanctissima findet ein Einklangskanon zwischen den beiden Oberstimmen statt. Es ist dies ein Stilmittel, durch das die Musik mit jedem folgenden Einsatz der Kanonstimmen vorangetrieben wird. Der Geniestreich in diesem Werk jedoch ist Guerreros imitativer Einsatz der ersten vier Töne des feierlichen Salve regina-Cantus’, was durch das ansonsten beziehungslose Erscheinen des Wortes „Salve“ ausgelöst wird. In den kanonischen Oberstimmen ist das Motiv dreimal, auf der ersten, zweiten und fünften Stufe des Modus, zu hören, wobei seine Nachdrücklichkeit jeweils zunimmt.

aus dem Begleittext von Jeremy Summerly © 2013
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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