WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Palestrina: Offertoria / Marlow, Trinity College Choir


Release Date: 03/27/2007 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 732   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This disc includes 25 of Palestrina's offertories.

-----

Palestrina’s Offertoria was published in 1593, containing 68 pieces which cover every Sunday and festival of the church year. The present recording covers most of the offertories from Advent Sunday to Trinity Sunday. The tradition in Rome at the time was to have motets performed at the point in the service where bread and wine were placed upon the altar, along with other rituals such as incensing and washing of hands. This context in terms of compositional style means that Palestrina was at his most conservative, avoiding extended word-painting, dance-like rhythms and unprepared dissonances. Melodies are balanced, and all is graceful lines and elegant
Read more proportions. The pieces move through a variety of modes, and the order of the programme has been selected so that the voices move from Dorian through to Hypomixolydian. The alterations in vocal texture between these modes or ‘keys’ is subtle, and easily missed in casual listening, but the overall effect is like moving through the different regions of a vast cathedral – unified by a single architect, but given differences of light and shade though a variety of stained-glass windows.

One slight mystery is that this appears to be a reissue of a CD on the GMN label, with identical track listings, personnel and music; judging by the sound samples on one website. There is no acknowledgement of this in the Chandos booklet. As you might expect, the music is exquisitely sung and beautifully recorded. The Chapel of Trinity College has a pleasantly roomy acoustic, blending the voices without becoming swimmy. If there is any criticism on my part, then it might be the neutral, middle-distance placing of the choir, which results in a more or less mf dynamic for a great deal of the time, although this is of course more or less how the music might be experienced in a service setting. The choral sound has a very pleasant homogeneity to it, with no voices leaping out at you, even at the most expressive moments. Such a procession of ‘safe’ choral repertoire might come across as monotonous, but in fact there is a great deal of subtle variety, with numbers like the Jubilate Deo universa terra providing some more lively contrast. Compared with the more famous masses, it is fascinating hear how Palestrina works with the more compact canvas of these shorter pieces.

One can have such a CD on as an ambient aural tapestry, but listening with closer attentiveness to the polyphonic lines rewards the mind and touches feelings both remote and familiar. It makes a nice change to hear these works in this collected context, and this disc is a welcome member of the Renaissance catalogue.

-- Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Ad te levavi by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Italy 
2. Deus tu conversus by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
3. Benedixisti, Domine by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
4. Ave Maria by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
5. Deus enim firmavit by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
6. Jubilate Deo omnis terra by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
7. Jubilate Deo universa terra by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
8. Dextera Domini by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
9. Bonum est confiteri by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
10. Perfice gressus meos by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
11. Benedictus es Domine by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
12. Scapulis suis by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
13. Meditabor in mandatis tuis by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
14. Justitiae Domini rectae by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
15. Laudate Dominum by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Italy 
16. Confitebot tibi Domine by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
17. Improperium by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
18. Terra tremuit by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1593; Italy 
19. Angelus Domini by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
20. Deus, deus meus by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
21. Lauda anima mea by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
22. Benedicite gentes by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
23. Ascendit Deus by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
24. Confirma hoc, Deus by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
25. Benedicta sit by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Richard Marlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1563; Italy 

Featured Sound Samples

Ave Maria
Laudate Dominum

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook