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H. Praetorius: Magnificats & Motets / Andrew Carwood, The Cardinall's Musick


Release Date: 10/14/2008 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67669   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



H. PRAETORIUS Magnificats: quarti toni; secundi toni; quinti toni. O bone Jesu. A solis ortu cardine/Beatus auctor. Oculi omnium. Gaudete omnes. O vos omnes. Laudate Dominum. Videns Dominus. Pater noster Andrew Carwood, dir; The Cardinall’s Musick HYPERION 67669 (68:30 Text and Translation)


I had scarcely finished reviewing Manfred Cordes’s new disc when this arrived from an unexpected quarter. The first track demonstrated the difference between the two discs, for the Magnificat Read more in the fourth tone is the same one heard on Cordes’s disc, but there it is heavily overlaid with colla parte instruments. The second selection, “O bone Jesu,” is also duplicated, but Cordes adds only an organ, so the singers are not overpowered there as before. Even more striking is “Laudate Dominum,” which Cordes included in his earlier disc (23:6), using four voices and three instruments to render the seven-part writing. Edith Ho’s recent disc (31:6) has a “Laudate Dominum,” but it is not the same piece as this one.


Carwood’s Renaissance polyphony is familiar, so this a cappella sound is no surprise. The debate, still unsettled, about the place of instruments in medieval vocal music is quite irrelevant here, for the early 17th century produced some music in which instrumental accompaniment was optional and other music where it was a necessary part of the composer’s design. In the psalm on Cordes’s earlier disc, his assignment of instruments to three of the seven vocal lines must be regarded as an arbitrary choice (why precisely those three?), while the seven vocal lines in Carwood’s interpretation makes the polyphony much clearer. That is not to say that Cordes is wrong, only that many other options might have been available as well.


Two of these three Magnificats come from a 1602 publication of settings in all eight modes. (Morales’s settings in all the modes were discussed in a review submitted with this one.) As usual, Praetorius left the odd-numbered verses to be chanted up to the doxology, where both verses are set. The setting in the fifth mode, however, is a remarkably complex work that wraps its text around two ancient macaronic Christmas carols. The Magnificat is set for double choir in the even verses, but “Joseph lieber Joseph mein” is set for two choirs (women and men respectively) and “In dulci jubilo” is set for a single eight-voice choir. Jeremy Summerly, who writes a perceptive note, tells how the former of the two carols was customarily rendered at Christmas with the priest sitting like Joseph next to a cradle, rocking it in time with the music (“Joseph, my dear Joseph, help me to rock the little child”). At the climax of this carol, which is placed after the first pair of verses of the canticle, Praetorius lets the top voice soar with the words “Hodie apparuit” (Today has appeared). The other carol is equally entrancing, one strophe placed after each succeeding pair of verses, leaving the doxology to conclude the work. As for the canticle, Summerly writes: “The music rejoices, is holy, is powerful, scatters, and sends empty away as the text requires.” The two carols were recorded separately by the Tallis Scholars and Chanticleer.


The rest of the program, all first recordings as well, deserves equal attention, but note only that A solis ortu cardine is given a double title because the odd verses are chanted, so the first polyphonic verse is added to the title. Several of these motets use texts from Propers of Mass or Office. Every piece shares the clarity of execution that Carwood is able to achieve in a cappella performance. This is only Carwood’s third Hyperion disc and his first to move away from the Tudor music that he has done so well. It brings a welcome contrast to the German way of doing early Baroque music. By all means, compare this with Cordes, who has his own strengths.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Magnificat quarti toni by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
O bone Jesu by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3.
Benedicto mensae by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
4.
Gaudete omnes by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1599; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
5.
Magnificat secundi toni by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 48 Secs. 
6.
O vos omnes by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1599; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
7.
Videns Dominus by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1599; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
8.
Oratio Dominica by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
9.
Joseph lieber, Joseph mein by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
10.
In dulci jubilo by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 12 Minutes 41 Secs. 
11.
A solis ortus cardine / Beatus autor seculi by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1618; Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 20 Secs. 
12.
Oculi omnium by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1607; Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
13.
Laudate Dominum in sanctis eius by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1599; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
14.
Pater noster by Hieronymus Praetorius
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1607; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 

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