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Track(s) taken from CDA67596

Cur Fernande pater

author of text

The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice (conductor)
Recording details: September 2004
Merton College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by David Skinner
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: June 2006
Total duration: 5 minutes 8 seconds


'A gem of a CD' (Gramophone)

'A superbly balanced and expressive performance by The Brabant Ensemble shows the work to great advantage' (Early Music Review)

'The performances are excellent; supported by the well-captured acoustic of Merton College, Oxford, the singers negotiate the often highly imitative textures with great fluency. Well-shaped phrasing, good balance and generally subtle dynamic inflexions further contribute to the beauty of the sound … these are really very fine performances of rarely heard music' (International Record Review)

'Apart from the group's accomplished vocal work, the strong point of this disc is the profound understanding that is conveyed in the notes by Martin Ham. We can expect more of this repertoire from the group. But don't wait to get this one, for it is neatly organized and beautifully sung' (Fanfare, USA)

'This recording sets an example of how things should be done … a programme that is both intellectually and musically attractive' (Goldberg)

'An unqualified delight' (MusicWeb International)

'Throughout this recording the choir demonstrates the exceeding beauty of Crecquillon’s music. At certain moments it sears the soul so that one can hardly stand to listen to it, like too bright a light makes one want to close [one's] eyes. What could possibly be more fitting for a discussion of death and everlasting life?' (Sacred Music, USA)

'Le chef et musicologue anglais révèle un rare talent de découvreur. Construire un programme autour de Mort m'a privé est une idée merveilleuse' (Diapason, France)
The funerary motet Cur Fernande pater is for Elizabeth of Poland, the Emperor Charles’s niece and a particular favourite of his. She had married Sigismund, King of Poland, in 1543; her leaving of the Habsburg courts had been marked with the gift of a chanson and a Mass based upon it, both by Crecquillon. Elizabeth died in 1545, possibly poisoned—the victim of intrigue in the Polish court, it was rumoured. Charles and the Archduke Ferdinand, her father, were together when the news reached them. A few days later, formal obsequies were held, attended by representatives from a number of different countries as well as by Elizabeth’s family. Again, Crecquillon was called on to provide suitable music and, despite the pedestrian text with which he had to work and the limited time, he produced a work that conveys the very real emotion that Elizabeth’s family must have felt.

from notes by Martin Ham © 2006

Cur Fernande pater est destiné à Élisabeth de Pologne, nièce, fort appréciée, de Charles. En 1543, elle avait épousé Sigismond, roi de Pologne, et s’était vu offrir, au moment de quitter la cour des Habsbourg, une chanson et une messe fondée sur cette chanson, toutes deux de Crecquillon. Élisabeth mourut en 1545, probablement empoisonnée (victime d’une intrigue à la cour de Pologne, nous dit la rumeur). Charles se trouvait avec le père d’Élisabeth, l’archiduc Ferdinand, quand il apprit la nouvelle. Quelques jours plus tard, des obsèques nationales eurent lieu, auxquelles assistèrent des représentants de plusieurs pays et la famille d’Élisabeth. Une fois encore, une musique de circonstance fut demandée à Crecquillon qui, malgré un texte prosaïque et un temps limité, parvint à écrire une œuvre véhiculant l’émotion même éprouvée par la famille de la défunte.

extrait des notes rédigées par Martin Ham © 2006
Français: Hypérion

Cur Fernande pater war für Elisabeth von Polen, die Nichte des Kaisers Karl V., die jener besonders schätzte. Sie hatte 1543 Sigismund II., König von Polen, geheiratet. Ihr Abschied von den Habsburger Höfen resultierte in ein Chanson und eine auf ihm beruhende Messe, beide von Crecquillon. Elisabeth starb 1545. Wahrscheinlich wurde sie vergiftet—das Opfer von Intrigen am polnischen Hof, sagt man. Karl und der Großherzog Ferdinand, ihr Vater, waren zusammen, als sie die Nachricht erhielten. Ein paar Tage später wurden offizielle Trauerfeierlichkeiten abgehalten, denen Repräsentanten aus einer Reihe unterschiedlicher Länder sowie Elisabeths Familie beiwohnten. Wieder wurde Crecquillon beauftragt, eine passende Musik zu komponieren. Trotz des ihm vorliegenden prosaischen Textes und der Zeitbegrenzung schuf er ein Werk, dass die wirklichen Gefühle zum Ausdruck bringt, die Elisabeths Familie empfunden haben muss.

aus dem Begleittext von Martin Ham © 2006
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

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