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Track(s) taken from CDA67522

Gaude et laetare, Jerusalem

Cantiones Sacrae, 1619, No 18
author of text
Magnificat Antiphon at Vespers for the Nativity

Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker (conductor), Matthew Martin (organ)
Recording details: March 2005
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2006
Total duration: 3 minutes 1 seconds

Cover artwork: Adoration of the Shepherds (detail) by Angelo Bronzino (1503-1572)
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Trinity College Choir Cambridge, Richard Marlow (conductor)


'With the glorious acoustical space of Westminster Cathedral, this disc has inbuilt atmosphere, enhanced by organ improvisations and by the choir's fluent singing of plainchant Latin antiphons and psalms as they might be heard at Christmas Eve Vespers … the service has as its spiritual climax the five-part Magnificat by Tallis, sung with invigorating thrust and guts that contrast favourably with more guarded approaches to the Renaissance masters' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Christmas comes with a combination of simplicity and stunning excitement in this recording' (American Record Guide)

'The real value of this disc is the palpable sense of atmosphere in the listening. The service unfolds in the acoustic space of the great Byzantine structure, almost making the listener present … this disc is quite unique, a hugely successful evocation of Catholic cathedral worship at its best' (Fanfare, USA)

'Westminster Cathedral Choir and Martin Baker give us a rich evocation of the complete service of Vespers at the Cathedral as it is currently sung. If you close your eyes you can almost smell the incense' (MusicWeb International)

'This issue presents a purified version of the Office of Vespers as it might be heard on Christmas Eve in Westminster Cathedral, a monument steeped in art, music and spirituality. The precious thread which runs throughout the whole liturgy on this disc is the 'chant' giving the office a rhythm rich in natural beauty as well as a clarity of text and expressive language. All this uplifting experience is complimented by motets and canticles by Tallis, Victoria and Schutz with Langlais' mighty 'Fête' for organ concluding this riveting service. The Cathedral Choir under Martin Baker sing their hearts out, and while intonation and ensemble are impeccable, it is the authentic love of this music that they so successfully bequeath to the listener' (Classical.net)
Most major feasts have two celebrations of Vespers: first Vespers on the Eve of the Feast and second Vespers on the day itself. The texts for First Vespers of Christmas are still much concerned with preparation, with warnings and signs that the day of the Lord is about to appear. Fitting with this imagery is the vigorous and stirring motet for five voices Gaude et laetare by the Dutch composer, organist and teacher Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562–1621). Starting in a minor key, this precursor to the service proper conjures up the stirring power of Advent before relaxing into a more prayerful welcome to the new King, until it explodes once again as the Cherubim and Seraphim proclaim Christ with the word ‘Sanctus’.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2006

La plupart des fêtes majeures comportent deux célébrations de vêpres: l’une la veille de la fête, l’autre le jour même. Les textes des premières vêpres de Noël s’attachent encore beaucoup aux préparatifs, aux présages indiquant l’imminence du jour du Seigneur. Une imagerie à laquelle correspond Gaude et laetare, le vigoureux et vibrant motet à cinq voix du compositeur, organiste et professeur hollandais Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562–1621). S’ouvrant en mineur, ce chant avant-coureur du service proprement dit en appelle au pouvoir vibrant de l’Avent puis se détend avec un salut de bienvenue, plus orant, adressé au nouveau roi, avant de réexploser lorsque chérubins et séraphins proclament le Christ avec de mot «Sanctus».

extrait des notes rédigées par Andrew Carwood © 2006
Français: Hypérion

Für die meisten Festtage gibt es zwei Vesperordnungen: die erste Vesper am Vorabend des Fests und die zweite Vesper am eigentlichen Festtag. Die Texte der ersten Weihnachtsvesper drehen sich noch sehr um Vorbereitung, um Warnungen und Zeichen, dass der Tag des Herrn kurz bevorsteht. Zu diesem Bild passt die lebhafte und aufregende Motette für fünf Stimmen Gaude et laetare des holländischen Komponisten, Organisten und Lehrers Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562–1621). Diese dem eigentlichen Gottesdienst vorausgehende Motette beginnt in Moll und vermittelt etwas von der erregenden Kraft der Adventszeit. Im weiteren Verlauf entspannt sich die Musik zu einer eher andächtigen Begrüßung des neuen Königs. Wenn dann Cherubim und Seraphim mit dem Wort „Sanctus“ Christus erneut ankündigen, bricht das musikalische Geschehen in Freude aus.

aus dem Begleittext von Andrew Carwood © 2006
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

Sweelinck: Cantiones Sacrae, Vol. 1
CDA67103Archive Service
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