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Track(s) taken from CDA67579

Missa Ascendetis post filium

6vv; based on the eponymous motet by Jacobus Vaet
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Recording details: June 2006
Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria
Produced by Stephen Rice
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: February 2007
Total duration: 33 minutes 58 seconds


'From this showing, Cinquecento would be well placed to advocate Vaet further. An all-male a cappella ensemble, they sound clear and bright, and articulate the music lucidly' (Gramophone)

'The fine motets recorded here suggest that his [Vaet] skill in achieving the closest possible union between text and music was comparable with that of Lassus. This is especially obvious in the darkly sonorous Videns Dominus, which tells the story of the raising of Lazarus, with its slow sustained evocation of Jesus's grief, and the climactic rising and falling scale figures symbolising the opening of the tomb. Ascendetis post filium provides the basis for an attractive Mass by his colleague Antonius Galli, which also contains many Lassus-like touches, including sudden brief bursts of triple time and the reiteration of quirky little rhythmic figures … Cinquecento's six male voices produce a rich and expressive sound … this is a very promising debut disc' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Continuo lacrimas, Vaet's gracious lament on the death of the composer Clemens non Papa, is a small masterpiece both in technique and emotional resonance … Cinquecento is an all-male vocal ensemble with members drawn from five European countries … the voices are young, lithe, pure in intonation and warm in timbre—in short, ideal for interpreting Renaissance polyphony. Their phrasing is supple, mellifluous and understated, while always alert to the musical rhetoric … no lover of Renaissance polyphony should overlook this outstanding début recording' (International Record Review)

'This revelatory disc, beguilingly sung, includes Galli's exquisite Missa Ascendetis post filium' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Such a collection of rarities would be commendable even if the performances were not so fine. Cinquecento makes this a triumphant debut recording, indicating that we can look forward to more Renaissance polyphony of similar interest. The six male voices, based in Vienna but coming from five countries, display a fine ensemble, doubtless a necessary result of working together without a leader. The Mass by Galli is worth the price of the disc, a fine work of the period and the sort of thing that was just waiting to be revived. Give this disc a hearing and be prepared for a revelation' (Fanfare, USA)

'A jaw-droppingly beautiful collection of a capella choral works by Jacobus Vaet, Antonius Galli, Pieter Maessens and Orlando Lassus performed by the male six-voice ensemble Cinquecento. All were written for the 16th-century Hapsburg court, and they run the gamut from Vaet's sweetly straightforward antiphon 'O quam gloriosum' to Galli's brilliant parody mass on 'Ascendetis post filium'. Cinquecento's sound is creamy and sweet, and the music is exceptionally fine. Highly recommended' (CD Hotlist, USA)

'This is Cinquecento's debut recording, an all-male ensemble which promises to rival the best of their kind in the choral scene. Indeed these are thrilling, exhilarating performances which should go a long way towards establishing this repertoire on a sounder footing. Worth buying, if only for Vaet's masterly motets … [Missa Ascendentis post filium] is a slow and 'deliberate' work. Listen to the mournful 'Kyrie' with some of the qualities of a dream, moving slowly and barely making an impact on the world, on which it yet so totally relies. That, convincingly, is how Cinquecento present it. No fuss, no undue emphasis on its heights and depths. Yet it's all the more impressive for their holding back as they feel their way through the music. Their performance—listen to the Gloria—has a particularly effective mix of majesty, magnificence and intimacy. Pretty much how you would expect and have wanted a contemporary performance to have sounded. This Mass is perhaps the high-point of this disc; the Credo, for instance, is a movement of ethereal beauty, intensely personal and low key but with a conviction—given the parallel dedication and careful drive of Cinquecento—that lends this highly colored work such power and feeling' (Classical.net)

'Pour servir cette 'Musique à la cour de Maximilien II de Bohême', oncle de Charles Quint, le chant de l'ensemble Cinquecento est séduisant. La qualité des tutti, l'accord homogène (et légèrement réverbéré) entre l'agilité des pupitres aigus et l'ampleur des basses font sonner les nombreuses trouvailles harmoniques qui parsèment ces oeuvres méconnues … la chapelle de Maximilien II regroupait surtout des compositeurs flamands de la génération de Nicolas Gombert, c'est-à-dire inspirée par un flux musical continu. Des aspérités harmoniques viennent rehausser des textures denses sous la forme de fausses relations que Cinquecento fait sonner avec beaucoup d'adresse, surtout dans le beau motet de déploration Continuo lacrimas' (Le Monde de la Musique, France)
In Missa Ascendetis post filium, the most obvious motif of Vaet’s motet is the scalic theme that opens the piece: Galli makes heavy use of this material, opening each of the first three movements with it. As well as its linear qualities, designed around the motet text ‘you will go up after my son’, this theme has a distinctive harmonic twist caused by the juxtaposition of E flat and E natural in the second bar: its appearances are thus highly audible, especially since its statements are usually repeated, being passed from upper to lower voices. In the later movements of his Mass, Galli varies the motif, breaking it down into smaller scalic passages in the Sanctus, and in the Agnus creating a new and more dissonant texture.

Another important element of Vaet’s motet that takes centre stage in Galli’s imitation Mass is the use of triple time. Although Galli must have been older than Vaet (his first documented adult employment dates from Vaet’s infancy), the ways in which he employs triple time in the Mass setting are quite modern, and reminiscent of Vaet’s great contemporary, Lassus. Whereas Galli’s immediate predecessors and contemporaries, writing in the 1530s and ’40s, tended to cast the great majority of their music in duple time, turning to triple metre only for the Osanna movements, the later practice of Lassus was to shift quite frequently between the two, especially in the later sections of the Credo, where Trinitarian theology is to the fore. Lassus would often set only the word ‘resurrectionem’ in triple time, reverting to duple for the following ‘mortuorum’ (2 ‘and I look for’, 3 ‘the resurrection’, 2 ‘of the dead’); whereas Galli does not approach this degree of flexibility, he does set small sections in triple metre, such as ‘cuius regni non erit finis’ (‘whose kingdom shall have no end’). Moreover, he adopts in such sections one of the most memorably rhythmical phrases of Vaet’s motet, where the words ‘quam fuerit solium domini mei regis’ (‘[greater] than was the throne of my lord the king’) are set homophonically and in syncopation: the same or similar rhythms are adopted by Galli for ‘catholicam et apostolicam’ (‘catholic and apostolic [Church]’). In general Galli’s music illustrates how, despite their shared Netherlandish heritage, different composers could develop in differing ways stylistically, depending on their environment; thus Galli is to be distinguished from his contemporaries Clemens (based in the North), Thomas Crecquillon (at the Spanish Habsburg court) and Adrian Willaert (at St Mark’s, Venice).

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2007

Dans la Missa Ascendetis post filium, le motif le plus flagrant du motet de Vaet est le thème en gammes qui inaugure la pièce, et dont Galli use à fond, puisqu’on le retrouve au début de chacun des trois premiers mouvements. Doué de qualités linéaires propres, élaborées autour du texte du motet «vous monterez après mon fils», ce thème présente un tour harmonique distinctif, né de la juxtaposition mi bémol/mi bécarre à la deuxième mesure—ce qui rend ses apparitions des plus audibles, d’autant que ses énonciations sont généralement répétées, en passant des voix supérieures aux voix inférieures. Dans les mouvements ultérieurs, Galli varie le motif: dans le Sanctus, il le brise en passages en gammes plus petits et crée, dans l’Agnus Dei, une texture nouvelle, davantage dissonante.

Autre élément important du motet de Vaet à occuper une place centrale dans la messe imitative de Galli: la mesure ternaire. Bien que Galli fût plus vieux que Vaet (son premier emploi documenté d’adulte remonte à la petite enfance de Vaet), les manières dont il utilise la mesure ternaire dans cette messe sont résolument modernes et rappellent le grand contemporain de Vaet, Lassus. Alors que, dans les années 1530 et 1540, les prédecesseurs immédiats et les contemporains de Galli tendirent à couler l’essentiel de leur musique dans une mesure binaire (réservant le mètre ternaire aux seuls mouvements de Hosanna), Lassus passa, dans sa pratique tardive, très souvent de l’une à l’autre, surtout dans les dernières sections du Credo, où la théologie trinitaire est à l’honneur. Souvent, seul le mot «resurrectionem» était en mesure ternaire et Lassus repassait en binaire pour le «mortuorum» suivant (2 «et j’attends», 3 «la résurrection», 2 «des morts»); si Galli est loin d’une telle flexibilité, il n’en met pas moins de petites sections en mesure ternaire, comme «cuius regni non erit finis» («dont le règne sera sans fin»). Qui plus est, il adopte dans ces sections l’une des phrases les plus mémorablement rythmiques du motet de Vaet, quand les mots «quam fuerit solium domini mei regis» («[plus grand] que n’était le trône de mon seigneur le roi») apparaissent en homophonie et en syncope: ces rythmes, Galli les adopte peu ou prou à l’identique pour «catholicam et apostolicam» («[Église] catholique et apostolique»). Globalement, sa musique illustre combien, nonobstant un héritage néerlandais commun, les compositeurs ont emprunté des chemins stylistiques différents, en fonction de leur environnement; aussi faut-il distinguer Galli de ses contemporains Clemens (basé au Nord), Thomas Crecquillon (à la cour espagnole des Habsbourg) et Adrian Willaert (à la basilique Saint-Marc de Venise).

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Rice © 2007
Français: Hypérion

In der Missa Ascendetis post filium ist das Tonleitermotiv, mit dem Vaets Motette beginnt, am auffälligsten, und Galli macht ausgiebig davon Gebrauch, indem er die ersten drei Sätze jeweils damit beginnen lässt. Ausser den linearen Eigenschaften, die der Motettentext „Ihr werdet hinaufsteigen nach meinem Sohn“ anregt, besitzt dieses Thema auch eine prägnante harmonische Wendung durch die Gegenüberstellung der Noten Es und E im zweiten Takt: jedes Mal, wenn es erscheint, ist es unüberhörbar, besonders, da es oft wiederholt und von den Oberstimmen in die Unterstimmen übertragen wird. In den späteren Sätzen dieser Messe variiert Galli das Motiv, unterteilt es in kleinere Tonleiterpassagen im Sanctus und schafft ein neues, dissonanteres Klanggewebe im Agnus.

Ein weiteres wichtiges Element aus Vaets Motette, das in Gallis Imitationsmesse in den Vordergrund gerückt wird, ist die Verwendung des Dreiertakts. Obwohl Galli wohl älter war als Vaet (seine frühesten Belege für Anstellungen als Erwachsener datieren aus Vaets frühem Kindesalter), ist die Art und Weise, wie er den Dreiertakt in dieser Messe verwendet, ganz modern und erinnert an Vaets großen Zeitgenossen Lassus. Gallis unmittelbare Vorgänger, die in den 1530er und 40er Jahren schrieben, komponierten den Großteil ihrer Musik in geradzahligen Metren und verwendeten das Dreiermetrum nur für die Osanna-Sätze, während die spätere Praxis von Lassus oft zwischen beiden wechselte, besonders in den späteren Abschnitten des Credo, wo die Theologie der Dreieinigkeit in den Vordergrund tritt. Lassus setzte oft nur das Wort „resurrectionem“ im Dreiertakt und kehrt für das folgende „mortuorum“ zum geradzahligen Takt zurück (2 „Und ich erwarte“, 3 „die Auferstehung“, 2 „der Toten“), und obwohl Galli diesen Grad von Flexibilität nicht erreicht, setzt er kleinere Abschnitte im Dreiertakt, wie „cuius regni non erit finis“ („und seines Reiches wird kein Ende sein“). Außerdem übernimmt er in solchen Abschnitten eine der einprägsamsten Phrasen aus Vaets Motette, wo die Worte „quam fuerit solium domini mei regis“ („als sei es der Thron meines Herrn Königs“) homophon und synkopiert gesetzt sind: Galli verwendet den gleichen oder ähnliche Rhythmen für „catholicam et apostolicam“ („katholische und apostolische [Kirche]“). Generell zeigt Gallis Musik wie verschiedene Komponisten trotz ihres gemeinsamen niederländischen Erbes sich je nach ihrer Umgebung stilistisch unterschiedlich weiterentwickeln konnten; daher unterscheidet sich Galli von seinen Zeitgenossen Clemens (im Norden), Thomas Crecquillon (am Hof der Spanischen Habsburger) und Adrian Willaert (an der Markuskirche in Venedig).

aus dem Begleittext von Stephen Rice © 2007
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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