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Packe: Gaudete In Domino; Dunstable: Salve Regina / Heider, Schola Gothia


Release Date: 04/08/2008 
Label:  Gothic Records   Catalog #: 49259   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  John DunstableAnonymousThomas Packe
Performer:  Schola Gothia
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PACKE Missa Gaudete in Domino & Ulrike Heider, dir; Schola Gothia GOTHIC 49259 (64:07 Text and Translation)


& DUNSTABLE (or POWER ) Salve regina


Thomas Packe worked in the last decade of the 15th century, but his exact dates are Read more unknown. Two of his three-voice masses are preserved in the Ritson MS (London, BL, Add. MS 5665), but I have never seen his name in a record catalog. This source is exactly contemporary with the Eton Choirbook, but the latter is commonly spoken about as if it were the sole surviving source of the period. Ritson contains mostly carols and other devotional pieces, but that is no reason for overlooking the liturgical works. The Mass is an interesting setting, not to be mistaken for the music of any of Packe’s contemporaries. He has a distinctive voice. What little we know about him is connected with Exeter cathedral, where he apparently spent the 1490s as priest and organist. The cathedral had a longstanding daily Mass of the Blessed Virgin in the Lady chapel, for which he certainly provided this music. The Mass is filled out with the usual chant Propers for a votive Mass of Our Lady, along with a sequence Nativitas Mariae virginis not previously recorded, found in The Hague, Royal Library, 71 A 21 (the rest of the chants are sung from the modern Graduale Triplex ). From an earlier era but also found in Ritson, the concluding work is said to be based on a work attributed to either John Dunstable or Lionel Power. Of the two settings recorded by the Hilliard Ensemble in the Reflexe series, it sounds a lot like the one on the Dunstable disc, not at all like the one on the Power disc, yet not identical to the former, which was sung from the Old Hall Manuscript.


This ensemble of four women has already made two recordings in Sweden, but this is the first one I have heard. It was made in Varnhem abbey there. Comparisons with Anonymous 4 are indicated, even to the title of the disc, which is the same as their first CD, “An English Lady Mass.” I recently commented on the proliferation of such small groups of women singing early music, and this one extends the list. Their polyphony is achingly pure, while their chant interpretation is beyond reproach, an unaffected rendition of the modern edition without the kind of fussy interpretation sometimes heard. The sound is clear and airy without noticeable reverberation, seeming to float in space. This is a real contribution to the understanding of the early Tudor period, presented properly with appropriate chants and concluding with a motet that might have been regarded as a classic in Packe’s time, a masterpiece of an earlier generation. I look forward eagerly to the group’s next offering, but meanwhile don’t miss this marvelous disc.

FANFARE: J. F. Weber


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Works on This Recording

1. Salve regina by John Dunstable
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; England 
Length: 9 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 
2. Benedicta et venerabilis es by Anonymous
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Medieval 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 
3. Ave Maria, gratia plena by Anonymous
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Medieval 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 
4. Speci tua by Anonymous
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Medieval 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 
5. Nativitas Marie virginis by Anonymous
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Medieval 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 
6. Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis by Anonymous
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Medieval 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 
7. Gaudete in Domino by Thomas Packe
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 
8. Beata viscera by Anonymous
Performer:  Schola Gothia ()
Conductor:  Ulrike Heider
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gothia
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1300; England 
Length: 6 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: : Ulrike Heider. 

Sound Samples

Salve sancta parens (Gregorian chant) [MS 5665/ Graduale Triplex/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek 71 A 21: Introitus: Salve sancta parens (Gregorian chant)
Gaudete in Domino: Kyrie
Gaudete in Domino: Gloria
Benedicta et venerabilis es (Gregorian chant) [MS 5665/ Graduale Triplex/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek 71 A 21]: Alleluia: Benedicta et venerabilis es (Gregorian chant)
Ave Maria, gratia plena (Gregorian chant) [MS 5665/ Graduale Triplex/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek 71 A 21]: Alleluia: Ave Maria, gratia plena (Gregorian chant)
Specie tua (Gregorian chant) [MS 5665/ Graduale Triplex/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek 71 A 21]: Alleluia: Specie tua (Gregorian chant)
Sequens: Nativitas Marie virginis (Gregorian chant) [MS 5665/ Graduale Triplex/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek 71 A 21]: Sequens: Nativitas Marie virginis (Gregorian chant)
Gaudete in Domino: Credo
Diffusa est (Gregorian chant) [MS 5665/ Graduale Triplex/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek 71 A 21]: Offertorium: Diffusa est (Gregorian chant)
Gaudete in Domino: Sanctus - Benedictus
Gaudete in Domino: Agnus Dei
Beata viscera - Magnificat (Gregorian chant) [MS 5665/ Graduale Triplex/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek 71 A 21]: Communio: Beata viscera - Magnificat (Gregorian chant)
Salve Regina [MS 5665 or Graduale Triplex]: Motet: Salve Regina (Gregorian chant)

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