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Gombert: Tribulatio Et Angustia / Rice, Brabant Ensemble


Release Date: 09/11/2007 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67614   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The motets show Gombert at his best and they’re exquisitely sung

Though Gombert has done increasingly well on disc in recent years, this is the first such venture to focus on the core of the man, which is his motets. What we know of his troubled life and extant music suggests that he was not a Laetentur coeli sort of composer, and so the opening Tribulatio et angustia is well chosen, being both one of the finest of them and setting the mood for the rest. Barely a minute has passed before the first of many dark spots of extreme and focused dissonance, yet such harmonic knots never tie up the line, which may be why I never felt overburdened by the predominant moods of Marian supplication and personal lamentation; indeed
Read more it’s one of very few discs of this repertoire I’ve been happy to play in its entirety, and then several times since.

This is in part a tribute to Gombert, who went to the well so often and never returned empty-handed; but also to the Brabant Ensemble and Stephen Rice, who researched Gombert’s motets for a doctorate. Rice believes in a largely steady tactus, which certainly suits the reflective nature of these works, but by encouraging an unusually individual and carefully balanced vocal response, he avoids the pitfalls of relentless consistency (Tallis Scholars) and arrided elision (one-per-part groups like Henry’s Eight and the Hilliard Ensemble). There is a welcome and (in this music) novel belief in the power of voices as voices rather than instrumental simulacra: try the sopranos halfway through Hortus conclusus est for erotic Mariolatry at its most disconcertingly sensual. Arise, make haste, as they sing, and hear this music.

Peter Quantrill, Gramophone [Awards Issue 2007]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Tribulatio et angustia by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
2.
Hortus conclusus es Dei genitrix by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Flanders, Belgium 
3.
Aspice Domine in testamentum by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1538 
4.
Virgo sancta Katherina by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
5.
Inviolata by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
6.
Inviolata, integra, et casta es, Maria by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
7.
Ne reminiscaris, Domine by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
8.
Pater noster by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
9.
Ave Maria by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Flanders, Belgium 
10.
Ergone vitae by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
11.
Ave sanctissima Maria by Nicolas Gombert
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 

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