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Track(s) taken from SIGCD338

Super flumina Babylonis

author of text
Psalm 136 (137): 1-2

Contrapunctus, Owen Rees (conductor)
Recording details: November 2012
Church of St Michael and All Angels, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: July 2013
Total duration: 5 minutes 41 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Gallicantus, Gabriel Crouch (conductor)


'This debut recording by the clean-voiced and agile Contrapunctus ensemble includes a genuine discovery, perhaps expected when scholar/conductor Owen Rees is in charge. Rees has built a reputation as a seeker-out of lost choral glories of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and here reveals a 'new' work by Thomas Tallis. Previously thought to be an instrumental piece marked simply 'Libera', Rees makes a convincing case that its underpinning is the plainchant antiphon, Libera nos, salva nos, indicating that Tallis intended it for voices. The choir sings it and works by Byrd, Philippe de Monte, Pedro de Cristo and Martin Peerson with admirable, firm-toned fluidity. More, please' (The Observer)

'Owen Rees's vocal ensemble Contrapunctus here presents a programme of Renaissance polyphony ingeniously employing lamentations for the subjugation of Jerusalem as code expressions of the plight of both English Catholics under Protestant rule, and Portuguese oppressed by Spanish hegemony. It's a rich seam of material by such as Tallis, Byrd and Cardoso. The theme is most evocatively summarised in the line from Psalm 136, How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a strange land?This forms the root both of Philippe de Monte's enchanting eight-voice motet setting of Super Flumina Babylonis, and William Byrd's equally exquisite response, Quomodo Cantabimus' (The Independent)

Other albums featuring this work

Byrd & Monte: The Word Unspoken
SIGCD295Download only
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