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Track(s) taken from CDGIM029

Descendi in hortum meum

author of text
after Song of Songs

The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Recording details: Unknown
Salle Church, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Steve C Smith & Peter Phillips
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: September 1994
Total duration: 5 minutes 35 seconds

Cover artwork: The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden (1399-1464)
Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune, France / Photograph © Paul M. R. Maeyaert, Etikhove-Maarkedal, Belgium


'As one would expect with a group so experienced in sixteenth-century repertories, both English and Continental, this performance is characterized by great sensitivity to textual inflexion and to the many moments of that exquisite bonding of words and music that was to lead Monteverdi to credit Rore as one of the early masters of the seconda prattica … nevertheless, in the end it is Peter Phillips's ability to control the overall architecture of the music, as well as its detail, that provides the basis for a reading of such conviction; his direction, combined with The Tallis Scholars's strongly-focused singing and well-balanced ensemble, results in a gripping performance of rare beauty, intelligence and power' (Gramophone)
Descendi in hortum meum has a mood suitable to its highly-perfumed text from the Song of Songs. So artless does this masterpiece sound that it is hard to believe that rigid mathematical writing underlies it; but indeed the second alto (which leads), second soprano and first tenor parts are in canon, this time at the fifth and octave. The canon is maintained even in the triple-time section towards the end where Rore the madrigalist briefly joins forces with his genius for sacred composition to create this most beautiful, most wistful of all polyphonic passages: ‘Return, return, O Shulamite, return that we may look upon you.’

from notes by Peter Phillips © 1994

Descendi in hortum meum dégage une atmosphère qui convient aux parfums puissants de son texte tiré du Cantique des cantiques. Ce chef-d’oeuvre paraît si naturel que l’on a peine à croire qu’une écriture mathématique rigoureuse le sous-tend. Mais l’altus II (qui mène l’ensemble), le cantus II (soprano II) et le tenor I chantent bien en canon, cette fois-ci à la quinte et à l’octave. Le canon est maintenu même dans la section ternaire vers la fin, là où Rore le madrigaliste retrouve brièvement le compositeur de génie de musique sacrée pour créer le plus beau et le plus mélancolique de tous les passages polyphoniques: ‘Reviens, reviens, ô Sulamite, reviens que nous puissions te contempler’.

extrait des notes rédigées par Peter Phillips © 1994
Français: Meena Wallaby

Dieses meisterliche Werk gibt sich so kunstlos, daß man den rigorosen mathematischen Plan, der ihm zugrunde liegt, kaum wahrhaben mag. Und doch sind der zweite (und führende) Alt, der zweite Sopran und der erste Tenor im Kanon in der Quinte und der Oktave geführt. Sogar im dreizeitigen Metrum gegen Ende des Stückes, wo der Madrigalist de Rore für einen kurzen Moment sich mit dem begabten Komponisten geistlicher Musik vereint, wird der Kanon nicht aufgegeben, um diese wehmütigste aller polyphonen Stellen zu schaffen: “Wende dich, wende dich, Sulamitis, wende dich um, damit wir dich anschauen mögen.”

aus dem Begleittext von Peter Phillips © 1994
Deutsch: Gerd Hüttenhofer

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