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Laudent Deum: Sacred Music By Orlande De Lassus

Lassus / Choir Of St Johns College Cambridge
Release Date: 03/29/2011 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 778   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim RavaldeJonathan LangridgeLeo TomitaJulian Gregory,   ... 
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LASSUS Laudent Deum: Sacred Music Andrew Nethsingha, cond; Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge; His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts; Timothy Ravalde (org) CHACONNE 0778 (71:00)


Lassus composed a great deal, more than 2,000 works by most accounts, of which somewhat more than 750 are motets. Most of these are religious, but sacred or secular, they range across the supplicatory, jubilant, didactic, philosophical, antique, eulogistic, and humorous. He treated the genre much the same way others keep daily Read more journals: to track and focus daily thoughts—though filtered in his case through a musical intelligence of great sensitivity and expressiveness. It is the sacred motets that furnish most of the content on this release, plus two of his roughly 100 Magnificats, and three of his dozen textless bicinia—two-part studies designed for teaching.


Of the 24 items on this recording, fully 15 are premieres. That’s not surprising given the vast number of his surviving compositions, extremely well regarded in his lifetime, then collected and published by his sons after Lassus’s death. What might raise some eyebrows, though, is the quality of each selection. There’s an ecstatically joyous quality about Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum , for instance, that can’t resist breaking into dance rhythms, and a subtle manipulation of seven-part textures that never becomes merely antiphonal. Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam possesses a quiet beauty that at a distance recalls Mundy’s O Lord the Maker of All Things ; while the writing that surrounds the cantus firmus in O peccator, si filium Dei glows, softly but unwaveringly, like the text it expresses.


Not that the previously recorded pieces on this album are to be ignored. We get the very popular Timor et tremor , where the rootlessness of fear is graphically projected in the various ways Lassus displays harmonic instability against a deliberately “solid” six-part, largely homophonic texture. Resonet in laudibus begins with the well-known 14th-century song that became associated in churches with a priest rocking a baby Jesus in a cradle on Christmas Eve, but Lassus’s exultant, wittily cross-metrical treatment would have confounded any attempt at regular rhythmic movement. Leaving aside the lack of secular content (and the elegant bicinia could qualify for that, in a way), this album could hardly be bettered as an introduction to the brilliant and vividly affective art of Lassus.


The Choir of St. John’s College is as often praised as its venue, the St. John’s College Chapel, is criticized. But I think some of the latter is due to the national concern with the Holy Grail of English choirs, a perfectly luminous blend of sound. King’s College is often put forward as the best place to achieve this, but I would suggest that kind of approach isn’t the only or best approach to this music, or all choral music. For one thing, under Andrew Nethsingha and in St. John’s College Chapel, the choir’s blend of voice types—and it is very fine, indeed—finds its balance with a clarity to each part. This isn’t just homophony, after all. Lassus’s discreet use of counterpoint in even his most vertically oriented motets here adds accent, character, and depth to his musical language. It would be nice to have a golden haze surround the opening phrases of Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam , but not at the expense of the well-articulated rhythmic vigor in Jubilate Deo, omnis terra.


For the rest, His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts perform their small contribution very well, while full texts and decent notes are provided. For performers, compositions, and interpretations, then: strongly recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ecce nunc benedicite, motet for 7 voices, M. xxi (S. xix/114) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
2.
Veni in hortum meum by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1562; Munich, Germany 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
3.
Quis sequitur me, motet for 2 voices, M. xi (S. i/3) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jonathan Langridge (), Leo Tomita ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
4.
Resonet in laudibus, motet for 5 voices, M. vii (S. iii/148) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Julian Gregory (), Tim Ravalde (Organ), Pablo Strong (),
Tristan Hambleton ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1569; Munich, Germany 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
5.
Omnes de Saba venient, motet for 8 voices, M. xix (S. xxi/1) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
6.
Qui moderatur sermons suos, motet for 6 voices, M. xxi (S. xv/142) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
7.
Exaudi Deus orationem meam, motet for 4 voices, M. xiv (S. iii/20) by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
8.
Jubilate Deo omnis terra, motet for 4 voices, M. xiv (S. iii/62) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
9.
Timor et tremor, motet for 6 voices, M. iii (S. xix/6) by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1564; Munich, Germany 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
10.
Omnia tempus habent, motet for 8 voices, M. xv (S. xxi/77) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
11.
Alleluia laus et Gloria, motet for 4 voices, M. xxi (S. i/68) by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 1 Minutes 8 Secs. 
12.
Quid gloriaris, motet for 5 voices, M. v (S. ix/81) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
13.
Laudate pueri Dominum, motet for 7 voices, M. vi (S. xix/94) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
14.
O Maria clauses hortus, motet for 3 voices, M. xi (S. i/29) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Bradley Smith (), Leo Tomita (), Tristan Hambleton ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
15.
Laetentur coeli by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1569; Munich, Germany 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
16.
Laudent Deum cythara, motet for 4 voices, M. xxi (S. iii/58) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 0 Minutes 42 Secs. 
17.
O peccator, motet for 6 voices, M. xxi (S. xiii/163) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
18.
Fratres qui gloriatur, motet for 6 voices, M. xxi (S. xv/126) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Tim Ravalde (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
19.
Agimus tibi gratias, motet for 6 voices, M. ix (S. xiii/103) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Francis [Tenor Vocal] Williams (), Julian Gregory (), Pablo Strong ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 1 Minutes 18 Secs. 
20.
O che vezzosa aurora (secondi toni), magnificat for 6 voices, H. xiv/216 by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Bradley Smith (Cantor), Pablo Strong (), Leo Tomita (),
Tim Ravalde (Organ), Tristan Hambleton ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 7 Minutes 9 Secs. 
21.
Textless bicinia: Sine textu 15 by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
22.
Textless bicinia: Sine textu 19 by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
23.
Magnificat octo tonorum: Magnificat tertii toni by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Basil McDonald (Cantor)
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
24.
Textless bicinia: Sine textu 13 by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, Eng 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Ecce nunc benedicite
Veni in hortum meum
Qui sequitur me
Resonet in laudibus
Cantiones duarum vocum sine text: Sine textu No. 15
Omnes de Saba venient
Qui moderatur sermones suos
Exaudi Deus orationem meam
Jubilate Deo omnis terra
Cantiones duarum vocum sine text: Sine textu No. 19
Timor et tremor
Omnia tempus habent
Alleluia laus et gloria
Magnificat tertii toni
Quid gloriaris
Laudate pueri Dominum a 7: Laudate pueri Dominum
O Maria clausus hortus
Laetentur coeli - Tunc exaltabunt: Laetentur coeli
Laudent Deum cythara
Cantiones duarum vocum sine text: Sine textu No. 13
O peccator
Fratres qui gloriatur
Agimus tibi gratias
O che vezzosa aurora

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