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Morales: Missa Queramus Cum Pastoribus, Etc; Mouton / James O'donnell, Westminster Cathedral Choir


Release Date: 06/10/2008 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55276   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Cristóbal de MoralesJean Mouton
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a most welcome reissue, originally released on Hyperion in 1993. It makes a perfect companion to the newly issued Morales program from The Brabant Ensemble, which, like this one, adds some rarely or never recorded works to the catalog in first-rate performances. We're also treated to Jean Mouton's marvelous Christmas motet, Queramus cum pastoribus (Let us, with the shepherds, seek the incarnate word), on which Morales based his Mass, which has to be one of the more mellifluous, melodically and harmonically opulent, and just plain glorious settings in the repertoire. You'll never hear a more affecting Agnus Dei--seven-plus minutes of transcendent music and singing that stands among the most masterful settings of a text that has Read more inspired composers throughout history to some of their greatest and most enduring creations. And speaking of great and enduring, Morales' setting of O sacrum convivium is a masterpiece that should stand alongside such well-loved versions by Byrd and Messiaen.

The Westminster Cathedral boys do exceptional work here, carrying our own spirits along with those soaring treble lines, perfectly intoned and infused with youthful energy, while the lower parts both lead and support in ideal ensemble unity--all with their inherent feeling for the cathedral acoustics. But it's the recorded representation of those acoustics that inhibits my complete enthusiasm for this recording: as often happens in the Westminster Cathedral venue, the sound is on the bright, "edgy" side, especially when played at higher volume. But if you make some simple playback adjustments these reservations will be minimized--and after eight or ten minutes, you won't notice anymore. The music and performances are that good. A fabulous reissue!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Andreas Christi famulus by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
Length: 5 Minutes 47 Secs. 
2. Sancta Maria, succurre miseris by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1543; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3. Clamabat autem mulier Chananea by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4. O sacrum convivium by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
Length: 6 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5. Regina caeli, laetare by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
6. Quaeramus cum pastoribus by Jean Mouton
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
7. Missa "Queramus cum pastoribus" by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1543; Italy 
Length: 35 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Morales thats not to be Missed!!! July 8, 2012 By Clifford H C. (Thompson, MB) See All My Reviews "Morales: Missa Queramus Cum Pastoribus

Jean Mouton: Queramus cum pastoribus

Morales is one of my favorites of the Spanish Renaissance composers. I am always amazed by the emotion that the Spanish are able to pull from the music. The Mass based on the motet Queramus Cum Pastoribus shows off this heightened emotion. The Gloria begins with a simple texture taken from the motet, only to weave a dense and delicate frame through all of the voices. Morales gives the music remarkable forward thrust as this network of notes tightens towards the Amen. The Credo pushes the singers voices and talents to the max. Vocal lines flow continually upward with the treble’s leading the upward spiral, followed by the altos, and tenors, each of the groups reaching for the highest points in their vocal range. Morales reverses the process in the Sanctus with the voices literally falling earthward. The Agnus Dei alone is worth the price of the disk! Remarkable in its tenderness and beauty. Morales removes vocal lines to create intimate groupings and then restructures them into new vocal forms.

Jean Mouton’s motet for Christmas “Queramus cum pastoribus” is full of beautiful melodies and it is easy to see why Morales chose this music as the base for his mass. The other motets included on the CD are all very beautiful and well performed.

The performances of the music is top notch. The acoustics are not as tight as you would find with other groups like the Tallis Scholars. These have a much more open feel which some people are going to like and others not. I find you really need good stereo equipment for these recordings or you will only find yourself turning up the volume. Turn up the volume too much and the treble voices just become to bright.
"
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