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Endbeginning / New York Polyphony

Brumel / New York Polyphony / Williams
Release Date: 02/28/2012 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1949  
Composer:  Thomas CrecquillonJacobus Clemens non PapaAnonymousJosquin Des Préz,   ... 
Performer:  Craig PhillipsGeoffrey Dunstan WilliamsGeoffrey SilverChristopher Dylan Herbert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Four years ago, I last wrote about New York Polyphony, the male vocal quartet who here makes its debut on BIS. The recording was a Christmas program and included the following description: "...these are ideally matched, sensitively balanced voices, warm yet vibrant in the tradition of groups such as the Hilliard Ensemble. And the singing is impeccable--the breathing, the phrasing, all of the ensemble work shows musicians at one with each other and with the music at hand.

There's really nothing new to add to that, except perhaps that in the last few years the ensemble has developed even more refined soft singing and--if it's possible--a more vibrant resonance when they want to
Read more emphasize a particularly rich harmonic moment or passage. The fact is, however closely you want to analyze the sound and the performance, you'll find nothing but reasons to keep listening--and plenty to support an argument for New York Polyphony's preeminence among today's male vocal ensembles.

This program of mostly 16th-century works from Franco-Flemish composers suits these voices especially well--for me the expressive range and vocal ensemble technique displayed in Clemens' Tristitia obsedit me was a highlight (not to mention the gorgeous music itself), along with Josquin's Absalon fili mi. American composer Jackson Hill (b. 1941) wrote Ma fin est mon commencement for New York Polyphony, and it's described as "a fantasy on Machaut's original"; but whether or not you are familiar with that work, the undulating lines, close-textured, modern/ancient harmonic structure, and the phrases that build purposefully to several climactic points--and fully exploiting that vibrant resonance mentioned above--will keep your full attention while leaving no doubt as to this modern (2009) work's rightful place on the program. This superb BIS production, ideally recorded in a Swedish church, bodes well for what looks like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Lamentationes Hieremiae by Thomas Crecquillon
Performer:  Craig Phillips (Bass), Geoffrey Dunstan Williams (Countertenor), Geoffrey Silver (Tenor),
Christopher Dylan Herbert (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1549 
2.
Tristitia obsedit me by Jacobus Clemens non Papa
Performer:  Craig Phillips (Bass), Geoffrey Dunstan Williams (Countertenor), Geoffrey Silver (Tenor),
Christopher Dylan Herbert (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Period: Renaissance 
3.
Libera me by Anonymous
Performer:  Craig Phillips (Bass), Geoffrey Dunstan Williams (Countertenor), Geoffrey Silver (Tenor),
Christopher Dylan Herbert (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Period: Medieval 
4.
Absalon, fili mi by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Craig Phillips (Bass), Geoffrey Dunstan Williams (Countertenor), Geoffrey Silver (Tenor),
Christopher Dylan Herbert (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
5.
Missa "Pro defunctis" by Jacques Brumel
Performer:  Craig Phillips (Bass), Geoffrey Dunstan Williams (Countertenor), Geoffrey Silver (Tenor),
Christopher Dylan Herbert (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Period: Renaissance 
6.
In paradisum by Anonymous
Performer:  Craig Phillips (Bass), Geoffrey Dunstan Williams (Countertenor), Geoffrey Silver (Tenor),
Christopher Dylan Herbert (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Period: Medieval 
7.
Ma fin est mon commencement by Jackson Hill
Performer:  Craig Phillips (Bass), Geoffrey Dunstan Williams (Countertenor), Geoffrey Silver (Tenor),
Christopher Dylan Herbert (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
Period: 20th/21st Century 

Featured Sound Samples

Missa "Pro defunctis" (Brumel)
Lamentationes Jeremiae (Crecquillon): Vau

Sound Samples

Missa pro defunctis: Introit
Missa pro defunctis: Kyrie
Missa pro defunctis: Sequence
Missa pro defunctis: Sanctus
Missa pro defunctis: Agnus Dei
Missa pro defunctis: Communio
Missa pro defunctis: Libera me, Domine
Lamentationes Jeremiae: Vau
Lamentationes Jeremiae: Zain
Lamentationes Jeremiae: Lamed
Lamentationes Jeremiae: Mem
Tristitia obsedit me / Infelix ego
Absalon, fili mi
Missa pro defunctis: In paradisum
Ma fin est mon commencement

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Beautiful performances in outstanding sound June 6, 2012 By A. Lam (Brookline, MA) See All My Reviews "I'm not normally one to purchase choral or vocal music, but after watching their promotional video on Youtube, I had to pick up this album. These are some highly talented artists. This is a wonderful vocal ensemble album, hauntingly beautiful and highly recommended!" Report Abuse
 Top Quality May 11, 2012 By james milford (lake orion, MI) See All My Reviews "A remarkably beautful piece of work." Report Abuse
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