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Track(s) taken from CDA68369

Missa Freu dich, du werthe Christenheit

5vv; based on the Innsbruck 1588 melody
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

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: 26 minutes 7 seconds

Cover artwork: Air (c1566) by 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
Each movement opens with the first phrase of the source hymn. Sometimes this ‘motto’ passes from voice to voice in imitation; at other times it is set in relief, sounding for long durations in one voice while the others move fluidly around it (as in the opening of the Sanctus). Beloved by music scholars on the prowl for unifying musical structures, such compositional devices reminded Regnart’s long-ago listeners of Easter’s significance: inviting them to listen carefully for melodies they had sung themselves, but also calling to mind—in familiar terms—the hope offered by Christ’s resurrection.

The simplicity of the source material—a tune rather than a multi-voice composition—means that the relationship between the model and Regnart’s polyphonic re-working is easily heard in each Mass movement. Regnart ingeniously refracts the hymn tune through the texture and across the span of the whole Mass, sometimes fragmenting the melodies, sometimes stating them faithfully.

Regnart varies pacing and declamation in order to set the scene for the different ritual functions of each Mass movement. The brisk syllabic setting of the Credo (at least partly a practical concession to the lengthy text of this crucial statement of faith) stands in stark contrast to the prayerful quality of the Kyrie, which opens with a point of imitation of the strictest sort. Regnart’s sparing use of chordal textures makes its deployment at the close of the Credo all the more effective. As the words turn to the promise of salvation—‘resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi’ (‘the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come’)—the voices line up, briefly shifting to a lilting triple metre before dissolving into the melismatic outpouring of the concluding ‘Amen’.

from notes by Erika Supria Honisch © 2021

Chaque mouvement commence par la première phrase de l’hymne source. Parfois, ce «motto» passe de voix en voix en imitation; ailleurs, elle est mise en relief, restant longtemps à une voix tandis que les autres lui tournent autour avec fluidité (comme dans le début du Sanctus de la Missa Freu dich, du werthe Christenheit). De tels procédés de composition, appréciés des spécialistes de la musique en quête d’uniformisation des structures musicales, rappelaient à ceux qui écoutaient fidèlement Regnart la signification de Pâques: une invitation à écouter soigneusement les mélodies qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes chantées, mais aussi une évocation—en termes familiers—de l’espoir offert par la résurrection du Christ.

La simplicité du matériel source—un air plutôt qu’une composition à plusieurs voix—permet de percevoir aisément dans chaque mouvement de messe les relations entre le modèle et le remaniement polyphonique de Regnart. Ce dernier réfracte ingénieusement la mélodie des hymnes à travers la texture et dans toute une messe, fragmentant parfois ces mélodies, les exposant parfois fidèlement.

Regnart varie le rythme et la déclamation afin de planter le décor pour les différentes fonctions rituelles de chaque mouvement de messe. La mise en musique syllabique rapide du Credo (dans une certaine mesure une concession relative et pratique au très long texte de cette déclaration de foi essentielle) contraste nettement avec le Kyrie, qui a toutes les caractéristiques d’une prière et qui commence par un point d’imitation très strict. L’usage parcimonieux que fait Regnart des textures en accords rend son déploiement à la fin du Credo d’autant plus efficace. Lorsque les mots en viennent à la promesse de salut—«resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi» («la résurrection des morts, et la vie du monde à venir»)—les voix s’alignent, passant brièvement par un mélodieux passage à trois temps avant de disparaître dans le débordement mélismatique de l’«Amen» conclusif.

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

In beiden Messen beginnt jeder Satz mit der ersten Phrase des Kirchenlieds, welches der Messe zugrunde liegt. Manchmal wird dieses „Motto“ imitativ von Stimme zu Stimme gereicht; zuweilen wird es hervorgehoben, indem es in einer Stimme in langen Noten erklingt, während die anderen Stimmen sich fließend darum herum bewegen (wie zu Beginn des Sanctus). Musikwissenschaftler auf der Suche nach vereinheitlichenden musikalischen Strukturen lieben solche kompositorischen Mittel besonders und Regnarts frühere Hörer wurden an die Bedeutung des Osterfests erinnert: es erklangen Melodien, die sie selbst gesungen hatten, und gleichzeitig wurde—in vertrauten Worten—die Hoffnung, die die Auferstehung Christi bietet, ins Gedächtnis zurückgerufen.

Die Schlichtheit des Ausgangsmaterials—eher eine Melodie als eine mehrstimmige Komposition—bedeutet, dass die Beziehung zwischen der Vorlage und Regnarts polyphoner Neubearbeitung in jedem Messesatz leicht zu hören ist. Regnart arbeitet die Kirchenliedmelodien in genialer Weise in die Struktur der gesamten Messe ein, wobei er die Melodien manchmal fragmentiert, manchmal getreu wiedergibt.

Regnart variiert Tempo und Deklamation, um die verschiedenen Funktionen der einzelnen Messesätze in Szene zu setzen. Die zügige, syllabische Vertonung des Credo (zumindest teilweise ein praktisches Zugeständnis an den langen Text dieses zentralen Glaubensbekenntnisses) steht im krassen Gegensatz zu dem andächtigen Kyrie, das mit einem Imitationspunkt der strengsten Art beginnt. Regnarts sparsamer Gebrauch von akkordischen Strukturen macht ihren Einsatz am Ende des Credos umso wirkungsvoller. Wenn der Text sich der Verheißung der Erlösung zuwendet—„resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi“ („die Auferstehung der Toten und das Leben der kommenden Welt“)—ordnen sich die Stimmen einheitlich an, wechseln kurz in einen beschwingten Dreiertakt, bevor sie sich in den melismatischen Ausbrüchen des abschließenden „Amen“ auflösen.

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

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