Three from Hyperion

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Program: #13-19, Air Date: 05/06/13

This superb label continues their stellar record in early music--this week, three recent discs including music by Victoria, England's Peter Philips, and music from 13th century France.

 NOTE: All of the music on this program is from recent releases on the Hyperion label.

For more information on distribution:  http://www.harmoniamundi.com/

And for the label:  http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/

 

 I. Peter Philips (1560/1-1628): Cantiones sacrae octonis vocibus (Royal Holloway Choir, The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Rupert Gough (conductor). Hyperion CD CDA67945.

The Englishman Peter Philips spent most of his life abroad, and was celebrated all over Europe in his day. Despite this, Philips’s music has been neglected since his death in 1628—of his immense output of vocal music, to this day most people know only a handful of motets from the five-voice Cantiones sacrae (1612). The present recording of half of the companion volume of eight-voice motets seeks to remedy this situation.
These triumphant and highly Italianate settings are performed by The Choir of Royal Holloway, joined by The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, who have gilded so many choral recordings of the music of Gabrieli and Monteverdi in the past.

 

1. Benedictus Deus noster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3'33]
2. O quam suavis II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4'57]
3. Jubilate Deo omnis terra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3'34]
4. Benedictus Dominus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3'49]
5. Veni Sancte Spiritus (GB-Och 89) plainchant, GAWAIN GLENTON cornett, RUPERT GOUGH organ [4'38]
6. Beati estis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3'09]
7. Ecce panis angelorum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4'49]
8. Salve regina, vita, dulcedo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [6'01]
9. Regina caeli laetare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4'01]
10. Panis sancte, panis vive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3'57]
11. Caecilia virgo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [7'33]
12. Veni Sancte Spiritus (GB-Och 89) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RUPERT GOUGH organ solo [5'31]
13. Gaudens gaudebo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3'09]
14. Beata Dei genitrix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3'42]
15. Alma redemptoris mater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4'17]
16. Hodie nobis de caelo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [5'09]

 

  II. Conductus, Vol. 1: Music & poetry from thirteenth-century France (John Potter (tenor), Christopher O'Gorman (tenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor). Hyperion CD CDA67949.

The conductus has always seemed like the poor relation in the history of music between the twelfth and the fourteenth centuries. Unlike its well-known siblings, the flamboyant organum and occasionally smutty motets, the conductus has remained in the shadows for much longer than its musical and poetic ambitions deserve. For the conductus is every bit as ambitious as its other family members; whether in terms of the complexity or sophistication of its poetry, or of the technical wizardry of some of its musical techniques, it is a genre to be reckoned with.

Even in terms of simple numbers, the conductus occupies an important place on the medieval musical landscape: there are slightly over 800 Latin poems with music copied between around 1230 and 1320, preserving a repertory composed between the 1180s and 1230s. Of these poems, 675 are set to music, and of these 377 are monophonic; 184 are in two parts; 111 in three parts; 3 in four parts. Three works have a doubtful generic profile, and 122 survive as texts or incipits alone. This is an immense repertory, and one that was spread far and wide. Manuscripts preserving the repertory are found from Scotland to the southern Rhineland, and from Spain to southern Poland.

Perhaps it is a number of uncertainties around the conductus that have resulted in its eclipse by other genres. Certainly there are difficulties with the rhythm of parts of the conductus that have led to a position where until relatively recently there has been no consensus as to how they would have been performed (more below), and even the function of the conductus—what it’s for—has been the subject of debate. Some have taken the term conductus to indicate some sort of processional context for the genre, and while it is just about conceivable that when the medieval procession stopped and made a station, singers might have sung a conductus, the more common idea that the works were sung while processing fits ill with the complexity of both their words and music. Others, for example, have taken the term conductus to have a meaning associated with ‘conduct’, and this fits well with the homiletic and moralizing tone of some of the poems.

1. Quo vadis, quo progrederis? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER [3'19]
2. Genitus divinitus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [4'30]
3. Quod promisit ab eterno . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [4'36]
4. Artium dignitas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [2'59]
5. Relegentur ab area . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN, ROGERS COVEY-CRUMP [8'01]
6. Qui servare puberemmonophonic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [3'28]
7. Ut non ponam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [3'09]
8. Qui servare puberemtwo-part, unmeasured . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [4'00]
9. Porta salutis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [5'23]
10.  Ista dies celebrari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [5'45]
11.  Qui servare puberemtwo-part, measured . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [2'46]
12.  Stephani sollempnia . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN, ROGERS COVEY-CRUMP [1'07]
13.  Beate virginis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [5'21]
14.  Qui servare puberemthree-part . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN, ROGERS COVEY-CRUMP [1'00]
15. Heu quo progreditur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN [1'53]
16.  Stella serena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN POTTER, CHRISTOPHER O’GORMAN, ROGERS COVEY-CRUMP [3'14]

Composer Info

Peter Philips (1560/1-1628),

CD Info

Hyperion CD CDA67945, Hyperion CD CDA67949