Music That Should Not Exist

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Program: #13-47   Air Date: Nov 18, 2013

Our recent look at English Renaissance Catholic church music left out a huge area of discovery--the madrigalian motet. Music by composers we may associate with secular works (Weelkes, Wilbye, Ravenscroft, etc.) have been reconstructed by tireless early music champion Ross Duffin, and with this new recording by his Quire ensemble from Cleveland, this music once again comes forth from the shadows.


NOTE: All of the music on this program is from the recent recording of sacred music from Jacobean England, featuring the ensemble Quire Cleveland directed by Ross W.Duffin. The recording is on the Quire label and is CD QC130. For more information:


Quire Cleveland’s recording of “music that shouldn’t exist.” Madrigalian Motets from Jacobean England is now available. It features exquisite music by your favorite English composers, including William Byrd, Thomas Weelkes, Alfonso Ferrabosco, Jr., John Wilbye, and more.

During the reign of James I, the Church of England had no sanctioned Latin liturgy, and Catholic services were illegal. And yet a few scattered motets — sacred songs in Latin — survive. Some of these exist in only a single manuscript, which is missing crucial portions. Quire’s artistic director, the award-winning scholar Ross W. Duffin, gathered these pieces together, reconstructing the missing parts, and A-R Editions published them in 2006.
Now, the whole collection is available in this new recording by Quire Cleveland, conducted by Duffin. The composers — some of the best known madrigalists of the day — are heard here in music that basically shouldn’t exist.

Click here for a video introducing this new CD.

Cantate Domino 2:50 Richard Nicolson (fl.1595 – 1639)
Ego dixi Domine 2:41 Alfonso Ferrabsoco, Jr. (ca.1575 – 1628)
Convertere Domine 3:06 Ferrabosco
Laboravi in gemitu meo 5:05 Martin Peerson (ca.1572 – 1651)
Miserere mei 3:46 Thomas Lupo (1571 – 1627/8)
Ne læteris 2:47 Thomas Ravenscroft (ca.1582 – 1635)
O nomen Jesu 2:48 Ferrabosco
O rex gloriæ 4:38 Peerson
Celebrate Jehovam 5:11 Thomas Tomkins (1572 – 1656)
Homo natus de muliere 2:38 John Wilbye (1574 – 1638)
In monte Oliveti 3:08 Robert Ramsey (fl.1616 – 44)
Judica me Deus 1:38 John Mundy (ca.1555 – 1630)
Laudate Dominum 2:56 William Byrd (1539/40 – 1623)
O vos omnes 2:56 Thomas Weelkes (1576 – 1623)
*Venite exultemus 3:32 Byrd
*Vox in Rama 4:11 George Kirbye (d.1634)
Cantate Domino 3:52 John Tomkins (1586 – 1638)
Laudate Domino 4:06 Hieronymus Prætorius (1560 – 1629)

Composer Info

Thomas Lupo (1571 – 1627/8), Hieronymus Prætorius (1560 – 1629), John Tomkins (1586 – 1638), George Kirbye (d.1634), Thomas Weelkes (1576 – 1623), William Byrd (1539/40 – 1623), John Mundy (ca.1555 – 1630), Robert Ramsey (fl.1616 – 44), John Wilbye (1574 – 1638), Thomas Tomkins (1572 – 1656), Thomas Ravenscroft (ca.1582 – 1635), Richard Nicolson (fl.1595 – 1639), Alfonso Ferrabsoco, Jr. (ca.1575 – 1628), Martin Peerson (ca.1572 – 1651),

CD Info

CD QC130