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Track(s) taken from CDA67604

Osculetur me

author of text
Song of Songs 1: 1-3; 4: 7, 11

The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice (conductor)
Recording details: September 2005
Merton College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Justin Lowe
Release date: April 2007
Total duration: 6 minutes 16 seconds


'A must-have disc from the Brabant Ensemble … first-rate music stirs this young ensemble to their finest disc yet' (Gramophone)

'This well-selected collection places Manchicourt firmly on the musical map. The centrepiece of the recording, the Cuidez vous mass, is an inspired choice. From the clamorous lines of the opening Kyrie with their spicy harmonic clashes, through the superbly portrayed dramas of the Credo, and into the quieter realms of the Sanctus and Agnus Dei, this choir is never less than energised and sure-footed … moving and compelling' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The brilliant Easter exultation of Regina caeli is created by Manchicourt's ingenious combination of intricate canonic writing with exciting syncopated rhythms … the Brabant Ensemble's committed and responsive performances' (The Daily Telegraph)

'I was amazed … there is really excellent music here' (Early Music Review)

'Though only a few recordings of Manchicourt's music have appeared over the past decade or so, this one is a significant addition … for its contrasting interpretive aesthetic' (American Record Guide)

'From the ecstatic opening bars of the Regina caeli, which begins the recital, to the more austere grandeur of Manchicourt’s only setting of the Magnificat, with which it closes, there is not a less than thrilling moment on the whole disc. Non-experts will scarcely be aware of the hyper-refined contrapuntal techniques, daring use of dissonance and cross-relations, interspersed with passages of telling homophony; they will simply be swept along by the sheer aural brilliance of Manchicourt’s polyphony. With only two previous recordings to its name, The Brabant Ensemble has already established itself as perhaps England’s most accomplished interpreter of Renaissance sacred music. Its intelligent phrasing, purity of vocal production and well-judged use of pause and inflexion are simply astonishing. Its vivid presentation of Manchicourt’s shimmering, flamboyant polyphony is as moving as it is intellectually stimulating' (International Record Review)

'The music is typical of the high Renaissance, influenced by Josquin and close to the style of Gombert; the Brabant performances all have a wonderful fluency and rhythmic clarity' (The Guardian)

'The more I hear of Manchicourt's music the more impressed I am … the Brabant Ensemble here sports a confidence and sureness of purpose which is indispensable in music as meaty and ambitious as this' (Goldberg)

'Stephen Rice's superbly talented vocal ensemble features many members of the same family, and there's a great harmony, in all senses, about its work. Here, the Brabant does the 16th-century composer Manchicourt proud' (FirstPost.com)

'Recorded at Merton College, Oxford by eager, fresh young voices, singing full throatedly with a forward impetus, it has made for delightful listening. Recommended strongly' (MusicalPointers.co.uk)
Osculetur me is one of many motets from the immediate pre-Reformation period that appropriate the eroticism of the Song of Songs to the ends of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This conflation of carnal desire with religious adoration had become popular from the twelfth century onwards, the troubadours having frequently sung love poems to an unattainable and chaste ‘domna’ (‘lady’). In the early sixteenth century, Song of Songs texts were often amended to include specific reference to Mary; this procedure is not adopted in the present motet, but instead the tenor line sings a cantus firmus, also taken from the Song of Songs: ‘Tota pulchra es, amica mea’ (‘You are all-beautiful, my love’). The six-part texture and the highly charged emotionalism of the text make this one of Manchicourt’s most opulent motets.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2007

Osculetur me fait partie des nombreux motets qui, juste avant la Réforme, s’approprièrent l’érotisme du Cantique des cantiques à des fins dévotionnelles envers la Vierge Marie. Ce rapprochement désir charnel/adoration religieuse était devenu populaire dès le XIIe siècle, quand les troubadours chantaient souvent des poèmes d’amour à une inaccessible et chaste domna («dame»). Au début du XVIe siècle, les textes du Cantique des cantiques furent souvent modifiés afin d’accueillir des références spécifiques à Marie; mais, plutôt que de recourir à ce procédé, Manchicourt préfère assigner à la ligne de ténor un cantus firmus, également extrait du Cantique des cantiques: «Tota pulchra es, amica mea» («Tu es toute belle, mon amie»). La texture à six parties et le texte à forte teneur émotionnelle font de ce motet l’un des plus opulents de Manchicourt.

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Rice © 2007
Français: Hyperion Records Ltd

Osculetur me ist eine der vielen Motteten aus der Zeit unmittelbar vor der Reformation, die sich die Erotik des Hohen Liedes zum Ausdruck der Marienverehrung aneignen. Diese Verschmelzung fleischlicher Lust mit religiöser Anbetung war seit dem 12. Jahrhundert beliebt, als die Troubadoure oft Liebeslieder an eine keusche und unerreichbare domna („Dame“) sangen. Am Anfang des 16. Jahrhunderts wurden Texte aus dem Hohen Lied häufig geändert, um spezifische Anspielungen auf die Jungfrau Maria zu machen; diese Methode wird hier nicht angewandt, stattdessen singt der Tenor einen ebenfalls dem Hohen Lied entnommenen Cantus firmus: „Tota pulchra es, amica mea“ („Wunderschön bist du, meine Freundin“). Der sechsstimmige Satz und die Hochspannung der Emotion des Textes machen diese Motette zu einer der üppigsten Manchicourts.

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

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