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Track(s) taken from CDA68369

Maria fein, du klarer Schein

author of text
a verse from the song Maria zart

Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: July 2020
Kartause Mauerbach, Vienna, Austria
Produced by Colin Mason
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: October 2021
Total duration: 3 minutes 36 seconds

Cover artwork: Air (c1566). Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593)
Private Collection / Photo © Fine Art Images / Bridgeman Images


‘Regular readers will know that I hold Cinquecento in especially high regard so it will come as no surprise if I open by saying that this new album, their third to feature works by Jacob Regnart (c1540/45-1599), maintains their exquisitely high quality of both performance and programme … Cinquecento are clearly in their comfort zone and immediately find a sweet spot for optimal polyphonic momentum that also allows the phrases room to expand. The balance is wonderfully clear’ (Gramophone)

‘The five voices of Cinquecento are as immaculate as ever, their full sound and flawless intonation leaving a hint of almost organ-like harmonic richness at times, and the spaciousness of the recording suits them and the music really well. It’s fourteen years since they last brought us music by this under-appreciated Renaissance composer—after all, if Lassus rated him he was probably pretty good—and this is beautiful music’ (BBC Record Review)

‘They do make such a beautiful sound … the secret is five wonderful musicians and singers (from five different countries—Austria, Belgium, England, Germany and Switzerland) in the right acoustic, and that really works for this music. They place the microphones exactly right so that we can ‘get’ the building, and the singers can feel the support of that, but we can hear all the detail. That’s what I love about these single-voice recordings, in that actually you can hear the detail of all the parts, and you can with Cinquecento’ (BBC Record Review)

‘I doubt that Regnart could have better advocates than Cinquecento, or ever will. To return to my opening words, the claim that they are ideally suited to this music is fully borne out by the performances, and the recording, especially in 24-bit format, and the presentation could hardly be bettered. As usual with Hyperion, the booklet, which comes with the download is an important factor in my recommendation—a few select labels match them in this, but others, contemptuous of those who buy their music, don’t think it important to include the booklet, even for music with unfamiliar texts. Lovers of the music of this period need not hesitate, especially those who have already chosen one or more of Cinqucento’s earlier recordings’ (MusicWeb International)» More

‘As with all of their recordings, Cinquecento Renaissance Vokal sound fabulous in this music. Recorded in a suitably resonant acoustic, the balance is perfect, and the unified sonority and superb intonation and articulation from this vocal quintet gives the impression of something grander than such compact forces might lead you to expect. This release joins their recording of Regnart’s Missa Super Oeniades Nymphae, and should be snapped up without delay’ (MusicWeb International)» More

‘Vocal balance, an essential feature, is Cinquecento’s forte, aided here by a wonderfully clear recording. It took place in a beautiful former Carthusian monastery on the outskirts of Vienna. The venue has an ideal acoustic, spacious and intimate, and it allows for clear diction. Erika Supria Honisch’s excellent booklet essay is accompanied by all the texts’ (MusicWeb International)» More
Maria fein, du klarer Schein (‘Mary fine, bright radiance’) is a motet-style setting of a single stanza of Maria zart, a lengthy fifteenth-century song in praise of the Virgin Mary. It was printed posthumously, in a 1604 anthology bringing together settings by an impressive ‘who’s who’ of Central European composers, crowd-sourced by the intrepid Augsburg Cathedral chapelmaster Bernhard Klingenstein. Much as he does in his Mass settings, Regnart draws extensively—but not strictly—on the pre-existing melody: the Maria zart tune emerges sometimes in the lower voices, sometimes in the higher voices, and he uses it as a quarry for constructing the surrounding counterpoint.

from notes by Erika Supria Honisch © 2021

Maria fein, du klarer Schein («Belle Marie, toi la claire lumière») met en musique dans le style d’un motet une seule strophe de Maria zart, un long chant du XVe siècle à la louange de la Vierge Marie. Cette œuvre fut imprimée à titre posthume, dans une anthologie de 1604 réunissant des musiques d’un impressionnant bottin mondain de compositeurs d’Europe centrale, compilées par l’intrépide maître de chapelle de la cathédrale d’Augsbourg Bernhard Klingenstein. Un peu comme il le fait dans ses messes, Regnart s’inspire beaucoup—mais pas strictement—de la mélodie préexistante: l’air de Maria zart émerge parfois aux voix graves, parfois aux voix aiguës, et il l’utilise comme une carrière pour construire le contrepoint environnant.

extrait des notes rédigées par Erika Supria Honisch © 2021
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Maria fein, du klarer Schein ist eine motettenartige Vertonung einer einzelnen Strophe von Maria zart, einem langen Loblied auf die Jungfrau Maria aus dem fünfzehnten Jahrhundert. Sie erschien posthum innerhalb einer Anthologie von 1604, in der die Werke eines beeindruckenden „Who is Who“ mitteleuropäischer Komponisten zusammengestellt sind und für deren Publikation der unerschrockene Augsburger Domkapellmeister Bernhard Klingenstein die benötigten Mittel gesammelt hatte. Ähnlich wie in seinen Messvertonungen bezieht Regnart sich ausgiebig—allerdings nicht ausschließlich—auf das Ausgangsmaterial: die Maria zart-Melodie erklingt mal in den unteren, mal in den oberen Stimmen, und er benutzt sie sozusagen als Steinbruch zur Konstruktion des umliegenden Kontrapunkts.

aus dem Begleittext von Erika Supria Honisch © 2021
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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