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Music From Magdalen / The Sixteen


Release Date: 05/08/2007 
Label:  Coro   Catalog #: 16049   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  AnonymousJohn SheppardJohn MasonRichard Davy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MUSIC FROM MAGDALEN Harry Christophers, cond; The Magdalen Collection CORO 16049 (74:20 Text and Translation)


PLAINSONG Inclita sancte, In diebus illis. SHEPPARD Magnificat a 4. O happy Dames. Laudem dicite Deo. In manus tuus I, II, III. Spiritus sanctus I. MASON Vae nobis miseris. Quales sumus. Read more DAVY Joan is sick and ill at ease. Ah, mine heart, remember thee well


This vocal ensemble seems to have compassed its entire existence in the first week of January 1997. It comprises a tribute to the late Bernard Rose, the informator choristarum of Magdalen College, Oxford, who had just died, and consisted of former “clerks” (choral scholars) of the choir under Rose. As many of these singers have gone on to prominent musical careers, this was a powerful ensemble. The music recorded was all by composers associated with the College in the 16th century, as students and as informatores . Though it is nowhere clear why this recording is being released just now, it is welcome.


Though all the music here is of the highest quality, that by John Sheppard seems the most remarkable and is the best known, largely thanks to recordings by David Wulstan and his Clerkes of Oxenford. Sheppard’s long, searching, lines remind one of (the younger) Victoria, if more sparing of dissonances than the Spanish master. In the series of compline motets, In manus tuus , the harmonic tension increases and culminates in the third, and are even more prominent in the respond, Spiritus sanctus . The full and informative notes by Roger Bray tell us that the two pieces by Richard Davy “must reflect the occasions on which secular music was performed in the college hall.” The two major pieces on the disc are the votive anthems by John Mason, whose music Bernard Rose edited. These are large-scale motets sung by men’s voices at Compline, and the second, the Jesus-antiphon Quales sumus , is sung here with particular subtlety and intensity.


This repertoire is certainly worth knowing because it is beautiful in itself and because it covers, as well, that crucial transition in English music between the great polyphonists of the Eton Choir Book (c. 1500) and the Chapel Royal masters of the mid and late 16th century. Harry Christophers started his career in this neck of the musical woods and knows it better than most. Here is expert music-making. Christophers also made fine recordings of the In manus tuus motets and Spiritus Sanctus I with the men of The Sixteen almost 20 years ago (Hyperion 66259, 66570, and 66603), and sacred music by Davy appears spread among the five Collins Classics recordings he made of the Eton Choir Book about the same time. A good recording of Davy’s St. Matthew Passion , performed by the Eton College Chapel Choir under Ralph Allwood, appears on Chatsworth 1004.


FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1.
In diebus illis by Anonymous
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Medieval 
Language: Latin 
2.
O happy dames by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Language: English 
3.
Laudem dicite Deo nostro by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Language: Latin 
4.
In manus tuas Domine no 4 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Language: Latin 
5.
Vae nobis miseris by John Mason
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Language: Latin 
6.
Quae sumus by John Mason
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Language: Latin 
7.
Jhoone is sike by Richard Davy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Language: English 
8.
Ah, myn hart, remembir the well by Richard Davy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1490; England 
Language: English 
9.
In manus tuas Domine no 1 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Language: Latin 
10.
In manus tuas Domine no 2 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Language: Latin 
11.
In manus tuas Domine no 3 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Magdalen Collection
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Language: Latin 

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