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Track(s) taken from CDA68369

Freu dich, du werthe Christenheit

hymn tune from the Catholisches Gesangbüchlein, Innsbruck, 1588
author of text

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: 1 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
Freu dich, du werthe Christenheit (‘Rejoice, O worthy Christendom’) dates from the fifteenth century. While the first half of the melody unfolds largely by step, the second half breaks free. It opens on the hymn’s highest pitch and hovers there briefly before descending angularly through a succession of leaps that is balanced out by the smooth symmetry of the concluding phrase, with its exhortation to celebratory prayer: ‘so we shall sing: Alleluia.’

The hymn was included in the Catholisches Gesangbüchlein (‘Little Catholic songbook’), a pocket-sized hymnal printed with the Archduke’s approval (and perhaps even his involvement) in Innsbruck in 1588. It appears in a section headed ‘Old Catholic Easter songs’, the pre-Reformation origin helping to cement the argument made in the preface: that singing the Lord’s praises in the mother tongue was not a Lutheran innovation but rather an ‘age-old Catholic practice’, beneficial not only for individuals young and old, but for all of Christendom.

from notes by Erika Supria Honisch © 2021

Freu dich, du werthe Christenheit («Réjouis-toi, vénérable chrétienté») est d’une période un peu plus tardive que Christ ist erstanden, datant du XVe siècle, et est sensiblement plus développé. Si la première moitié de la mélodie se déroule largement en mouvement conjoint, la seconde moitié se libère. Elle commence sur la note la plus élevée de l’hymne et y plane brièvement avant de descendre de manière angulaire au travers d’une succession de sauts compensée par une symétrie régulière de la dernière phrase, avec son exhortation à la prière festive: «chantons: Alléluia.»

Les deux hymnes figuraient dans le Catholisches Gesangbüchlein («Petit livre de chant catholique»), un tout petit recueil de cantiques imprimé avec l’approbation de l’archiduc (et peut-être même sa participation) à Innsbruck en 1588. Les hymnes apparaissent dans une section intitulée «Vieux chants de Pâques catholiques», leurs origines antérieures à la Réforme aidant à cimenter l’argument avancé dans la préface: chanter les louanges du Seigneur dans sa langue maternelle n’est pas une innovation luthérienne mais plutôt une «pratique catholique ancestrale», bénéfique non seulement pour les individus de tous âges, mais pour toute la chrétienté.

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

Freu dich, du werthe Christenheit stammt aus dem 15. Jahrhundert. Während sich die erste Hälfte der Melodie weitgehend schrittweise entfaltet, reißt sich die zweite Hälfte aus dem Gefüge sofort los. Sie beginnt auf dem höchsten Ton des Liedes, verweilt dort kurz, bevor sie mit einer Folge von kantigen Sprüngen absteigt, was durch die sanfte Symmetrie der Schlussphrase mit ihrer Aufforderung zum feierlichen Gebet ausgeglichen wird: „So singen wir: Alleluia.“

Beide Lieder wurden in das Catholische Gesangbüchlein aufgenommen, ein Gesangbuch im Taschenformat, das 1588 mit der Zustimmung des Erzherzogs (und vielleicht sogar mit seiner Beteiligung) in Innsbruck gedruckt wurde. Die Lieder erscheinen in einem Abschnitt mit der Überschrift „etliche alte Catholische Gesang auff Ostern“, wobei ihre vorreformatorischen Ursprünge das im Vorwort angeführte Argument untermauern, das Singen des Gotteslobes in der Muttersprache sei keine lutherische Neuerung, sondern vielmehr „ein Uralter in der Christenlichen Catholischen Kirchen herkomner gebrauch“, von Nutzen nicht nur für junge und alte Menschen, sondern für die gesamte Christenheit.

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

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