The Brabant Ensemble under their director Stephen Rice presents music for the dark time of the year.
Its latest disc of 16th-century polyphony features the extraordinary compositional gifts of Clemens non Papa, put to the service of the Requiem Mass and a selection of motets on a pentitential theme. Within this general aspect of solemnity can be found countless shades of expression and emotion.
Despite the popularity of the composer’s music during his lifetime, Clemens is a somewhat marginal figure today and many of these motets have never been recorded before. Yet, listening to this music today, one is immediately enthralled by its opulence and harmonic lushness, very different from the occasionally sterile polyphony of some of the composer’s contemporaries. The Brabant Ensemble’s fresh, uncluttered and sincere performances truly bring this glorious music to life.