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Lasso: Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Etc / Testolin, De Labyrintho


Release Date: 05/08/2007 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33762   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola GregorianaDe Labyrintho
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LASSUS Prophetiae Silyllarum. Magnificat “praeter rerum seriem.” Officium natalis Christi. In principio erat Verbum Walter Testolin, dir; De Labyrintho STRADIVARIUS 33762 (64:20 Text and Translation)


The main part of this Christmas program is the set of 12 Sibylline prophecies (actually texts that had been written in the composer’s own time) that Lassus set during his Italian sojourn. A manuscript illuminated by Hans Muelich was reserved for the delight of the Wittelsbach dukes Read more until its posthumous publication. The highly chromatic style was unique in the composer’s entire output. It enjoyed a number of recordings in the LP era, mostly choral renditions, but all have vanished except the earlier of two by Hans Leo Hirsch. In the CD era there have been only the Hilliard Ensemble (22:3), one from Cantus Cölln about the same time (not issued over here), and now this. The Hilliards used one voice to a part, while this one doubles the voices. While the Hilliards were superb, this group is also very effective in the best sense.


This setting of the Magnificat, one of over a hundred, was inspired by the music of Josquin des Prez’s Christmas motet that belongs to the same moment in time, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s awareness that she would become the Mother of the Savior. Jerome Roche calls it “one of the most dignified and impressive parody Magnificats” of the many composed by Lassus. Typically, the odd verses are chanted, while the even verses are set for six voices. It was recorded at least once before by Pro Cantione Antiqua (14:1). The Officium consists of the sequence and three other Propers of the Christmas Day Mass, published in Patrocinium Musices in 1574 but not included in Eric van Nevel’s recording of excerpts from that book. The concluding piece is unusual, for there is no place in liturgical use for a polyphonic setting of the gospel for the Christmas Day Mass (it was also read at the end of Mass every day). I can’t find any previous recording of this piece, so it is a valuable addition to the Lassus discography.


Hence this disc makes a highly desirable way to acquire an interesting Lassus program. The singing is warm, captured in a space that would suggest the duke’s hall rather than a church. A separate chant schola sings the alternate verses of the canticle and the sequence. The booklet is attractive, and the digipack is elegant. This is highly recommended.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Prophetiae Sibyllarum by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gregoriana,  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
Venue:  Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vice 
Length: 24 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vicenza, Italy (07/10/2006 - 07/11/2006) 
2.
Officium natalis Christi by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gregoriana,  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1574 
Venue:  Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vice 
Length: 18 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vicenza, Italy (07/10/2006 - 07/11/2006) 
3.
In principio erat Verbum by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gregoriana,  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1566 
Venue:  Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vice 
Length: 9 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vicenza, Italy (07/10/2006 - 07/11/2006) 
4.
Magnificat "Praeter rerum seriem" by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gregoriana,  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
Venue:  Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vice 
Length: 11 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Sts. Maria & Zeno Church, Zugliano, Vicenza, Italy (07/10/2006 - 07/11/2006) 

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