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Track(s) taken from CDA67479

Missa Ave regina caelorum

author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker (conductor), Robert Quinney (organ)
Recording details: February 2004
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2004
Total duration: 19 minutes 37 seconds


'The choir of Westminster Cathedral has long been noted for its distinctive Continental-style tone, which gives its performances of Latin sacred polyphony an attractively distinctive quality. This magnificent recording, which shows off Victoria's mastery of the art of writing music for up to three choirs in the grandest possible manner, suggests that 2004 is a vintage year for them … recordings of Renaissance polyphony rarely come much better than this' (The Daily Telegraph)

'the choir is radiant in its home acoustic, and Martin Baker's well-researched decision to employ an understated organ 'continuo' adds small but telling touches of colour to the texture' (International Record Review)

'It is ideally suited to the full-throated, vibrant singing of the Westminster Cathedral Choir, while Martin Baker's finely controlled direction displays a keen architectural sense … A wonderful disc' (Goldberg)

'If you painted me into a corner and forced me to choose between Victoria and Palestrina, I’d have to choose the former, much as I love the latter. If I could have just one Victoria recording on my Desert Island, this, from Westminster Cathedral Choir directed by Martin Baker with Robert Quinney (organ) would be very high on the list … this is music that will transport you to a higher plane' (MusicWeb International)» More
Missa Ave Regina caelorum, written in eight parts for two equal SATB choirs, is a ‘parody’ mass based on Victoria’s two motet settings of Ave Regina caelorum. In the sixteenth century and earlier it was a standard practice (which might well now be considered plagiarism, but was probably then considered a form of compliment) for a composer to take an existing motet or motets by another composer as a basis for creating a larger-scale work such as a mass by using, elaborating on and developing the material in the source(s) and combining this with new material to build a much larger musical structure. Sometimes, as in this case, a composer might use material drawn from his own works. Victoria used this technique to write two other double-choir masses on the basis of his own paired five- and eight-part antiphon settings (the Missa Alma redemptoris mater and the Missa Salve Regina). In the ‘Ave Regina’ mass the listener will hear throughout echoes of passages from each of the source motets and the plainsong on which they are based, together with much newly composed material, especially in the vigorous antiphonal exchanges between the two choirs in the two most wordy movements – the Gloria and the Credo.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 2004

La Missa Ave Regina caelorum à huit voix, écrite pour deux chœurs identiques à quatre voix, est un «pastiche» sur deux arrangements de l’Ave Regina caelorum de Victoria. Au seizième siècle et avant, la pratique du pastiche était très répandue, et on la considérait plutôt comme un hommage (alors qu’aujourd’hui, on appellerait cela du plagiat). Le compositeur prend un ou plusieurs motets d’un autre compositeur et s’en sert pour élaborer une œuvre de grande envergure, comme une messe, en utilisant, en travaillant et en développant le matériel source, pour le combiner à du nouveau matériel et donner à l’ensemble une structure musicale beaucoup plus importante. Parfois, comme c’est le cas ici, le compositeur utilise ses propres travaux. Victoria utilise ici cette technique pour écrire des messes pour deux chœurs en partant de ses propres antiennes à cinq et huit voix (la Missa Alma redemptoris mater et la Missa Salve Regina). Dans toute la messe Ave Regina, on peut entendre des réminiscences des motets d’origine et reconnaître le plain-chant sur lequel ils reposent. On découvre par ailleurs l’écriture nouvelle, plus récente, particulièrement dans les échanges antiphonaires dynamiques entre les deux chœurs dans les deux derniers mouvements, le Gloria et le Credo.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jon Dixon © 2004
Français: Marie Luccheta

Die für zwei gleichstarke Chöre (SATB) komponierte Missa Ave Regina caelorum ist eine „Parodiemesse“, die auf Victorias eigenen zwei Motetten Ave Regina caelorum beruhen. Im 16. Jahrhundert und davor war es üblich (heutzutage mag man es als Plagiat bezeichnen, aber damals schätzte man diese Praxis wohl als eine Art Kompliment) für einen Komponisten, eine schon existierende Motette oder Motetten eines anderen Komponisten als Grundlage für ein größer angelegtes Werk wie z.B. eine Messe heranzuziehen, indem man Material aus dem(n) Ausgangsstück(en) übernahm, ausbaute und entwickelte und mit neuem Material verband, um viel längere musikalische Formen zu schaffen. Manchmal, wie in diesem Fall, griff der Komponist auch auf Material aus seinen eigenen Werken zurück. Noch zweimal verwendete Victoria seine eigenen jeweils fünf und achtstimmigen Antiphonvertonungen zur Komposition von doppelchörigen Messen (die Missa Alma redemptoris mater und die Missa Salve Regina). In der Messe „Ave Regina“ vernimmt der Hörer durchgängig Anklänge an Passagen aus den jeweiligen Ursprungsmotetten und dem gregorianischen Choral, auf dem sie beruhen. Man hört aber auch sehr viel neu komponiertes Material, besonders in den lebhaften Wechselgesängen zwischen den Chören in den zwei wortreichsten Sätzen – dem Gloria und dem Credo.

aus dem Begleittext von Jon Dixon © 2004
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

Victoria: Ave regina caelorum & other sacred music
This album is not yet available for downloadSACDA67479Super-Audio CD
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