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De Leidse Koorboeken, Vol. 1

Egidius Quartet & Collegium
Release Date: 04/12/2011 
Label:  Etcetera Records   Catalog #: 1410   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Thomas CrecquillonBenedictus AppenzellerPhilippe de MonteJohannes Cleeff,   ... 
Performer:  Hans WijersDonald BentvelsenJon Etxabe-ArzuagaHans Pootjes,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



DE LEIDSE KOORBOEKEN, Volume 1 Egidius Qrt & College ET’CETERA KTC 1410 (2 CDs: 126:24 Text and Translation)


Music of GOMBERT, CRECQUILLON, APPENZELLER, J. DE MONTE, CLEEFF, HOLLANDER, RICHAFORT, ANON


DE LEIDSE KOORBOEKEN, Volume 2 Egidius Qrt & College Read more class="BULLET12"> • ET’CETERA KTC 1411 (2 CDs: 154:34 Text and Translation)


Music of HOLLANDER, CLEMENS NON PAPA, BASTON, LUPI, J. DE MONTE, RICHAFORT, VERDELOT, ANON


The Leiden choirbooks are the last witness to a pre-Reformation tradition in the Netherlands. In the 15th century, parish churches set out to copy the practice of monasteries, cathedrals, and collegiate churches where the liturgical hours, or Divine Office, was sung daily. While this was normally done in Gregorian chant, a parish would employ a College of the Seven Liturgical Hours, a group of priests similar to the college of canons in a collegiate church or cathedral, who would sing the hours in polyphony. Leiden was the first such city in 1440, where two parishes supported colleges, but many other cities followed suit, though nothing other than inventories remains as evidence due to the destruction of religious artifacts. The six books of polyphony that were assembled for St. Peter’s in Leiden are the only ones that survived the destruction of the Reformation. They were kept after 1566 in the city council, then in 1876 moved to a museum. About this time they were marked as Codex A to Codex F. In 1931, the museum retained only Codex C for lack of space, returning the other five to the city archives.


The Egidius Quartet has undertaken to record excerpts from this repertoire. Two CDs will be devoted to each codex, with the first two sets already issued. Codex A was compiled in 1549, consisting of 37 motets along with four Masses. Thomas Crecquillon’s 18 works are the largest number of any composer in this volume. Codex B was delivered (along with Codex C) 10 years later, a more diverse selection of music that took into account the parts of the liturgical hours. Along with 28 motets, there are 22 settings of the Magnificat, eight of the Nunc dimittis, and more than 25 hymns for the various hours. The leading composer in this volume is Clemens non Papa, with 17 works.


On the whole, the composers represented in these six books comprise both the leading Flemish composers of the era, as far back as Josquin des Prez, who was still heard decades after his death, as well as other composers of merely local repute. The latter will be entirely unfamiliar names, such as Joachimus de Monte, a singer at Delft and probably at Leiden, who is represented by 10 compositions. Some of this music must be unique, while other pieces, such as the Maria Magdalena of Clemens non Papa heard in the second set, were widely disseminated. Listening to four CDs straight through, it is amazing how high the level of composition was in the Low Countries at the time, for the minor composers stand out from the famous not at all. Some indeed are anonymous, and those pieces must come from the same local composers.


The two sets, in the form of bound books, have lengthy and informative notes about every aspect of this project, most of the information not duplicated from one book to the next. The singing is on the high level that this quartet of singers has given us. The history of the project shows why the four members of the vocal quartet are joined by 16 additional singers identified as a “college.” They are needed to fill out the polyphony and they take their name from the original groups. Even after the six sets have been issued, we will have only a sampling of the sources, probably less than half of the total number of pieces. The first set has 10 motets and two Masses, while the second set has 38 shorter pieces. When the project is complete, it will be interesting to see how many of the works are familiar from other sources, likely a short list. This is a fascinating expansion of our view of Franco-Flemish polyphony, very well executed.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1. Memento salutis auctor / Maria mater, motet by Thomas Crecquillon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 6 Minutes 54 Secs. 
2. O magnum mysterium / Ave Maria, motet by Benedictus Appenzeller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
3. Recordare Domine / Propterea maestum, motet by Thomas Crecquillon
Performer:  Hans Wijers (), Donald Bentvelsen ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 9 Minutes 3 Secs. 
4. Angelus Domini descendit de caelo by Philippe de Monte
Performer:  Jon Etxabe-Arzuaga (), Donald Bentvelsen (), Hans Wijers ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
5. Ave salutis ianua / Mysterium mirabile, motet by Thomas Crecquillon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 8 Minutes 53 Secs. 
6. Peccata mea / Quoniam iniquitatem, motet by Johannes Cleeff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
7. Christus resurgens / Mortuus est enim, motet by Joachimus de Monte
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
8. Ego sum panis / Ego sum panis / Gloria, motet by Christian Hollander
Performer:  Hans Wijers (), Hans Pootjes (), Matthew Vine (),
Donald Bentvelsen ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 6 Minutes 56 Secs. 
9. Servus tuus / Declaratio sermonum, motet by Thomas Crecquillon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 5 Minutes 52 Secs. 
10. Quem dicunt homines / Petre dilitis me, motet by Jean Richafort
Performer:  Donald Bentvelsen (), Hans Wijers ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
11. Missa "Beati Omnes", for 4 voices by Nicolas Gombert
Performer:  Hans Wijers (), Donald Bentvelsen ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 33 Minutes 16 Secs. 
12. Mass for the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Chartres Chant
Performer:  Donald Bentvelsen (), Jon Etxabe-Arzuaga (), Hans Wijers ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Egidius Quartet
Venue:  Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland (NL) 
Length: 29 Minutes 19 Secs. 

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