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Libre Vermell - Pilgrim Songs & Dances / Pickett, New London


Release Date: 08/06/2007 
Label:  L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog #: 433186   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Philip Pickett's second recording of pilgrim songs and dances is a worthy successor to his earlier ''Pilgrimage to Santiago'' (7/92). His New London Consort performs all ten compositions contained in the Llibre Vermell (the Red Book of Montserrat), compiled towards the end of the fourteenth century specifically for the use of pilgrims to the mountain shrine of that name. It opens with a Marian antiphon, O virgo splendens, an intriguing piece of chant sung by the men. I understood the reason for the evenness of their interpretation when the melody was repeated as a canon a 3, before reverting to unison for a final repeat. Stella splendens follows, a forceful strophic description of the long procession of pilgrims of all sorts making their Read more way up the mountain, led by an assortment of tabors, lutes, harps, fiddles and shawms. Then comes a short canon—one of two, both of which would be ideal pieces for tramping up a rocky mountain path: easy to learn, easy to remember and fun to sing. By now they must have reached the summit, for the central part of the programme presents a whole series of hymns in praise of the Virgin, starting with the ravishing Mariam matrem virginem, with Catherine Bott's limpid voice singing the solo verses and a chorus of well-blended high voices the refrain. She adopts a more gutsy 'folk' quality when joined by Sara Stowe for Los set goyts (the Seven Joys of Mary). In most of these pieces the high and low voices take it in turns, with Michael George and Andrew King leading the men with a pleasing choice of timbres.

Nothing could have prepared us for the surprise of the finale, the renvoi, which dispatches the pilgrims to their homes in a rumbustiously merry frame of mind to a jolly, rollicking dance of death. Ad mortem festinamus, with its sparkling instrumental accompaniment, delivers its solemn message (that we'd do well to meditate upon the Four Last Things) in an amazingly light-hearted manner, ending with a deliberate accelerando in the final refrain: terrific!'

-- Mary Berry, Gramophone, 12/1992
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Works on This Recording

1.
O virgo splendens by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Medieval 
2.
Stella splendens by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Renaissance 
3.
Laudemus Virginem by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
4.
Mariam matrem by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Renaissance 
5.
Polorum Regina by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Medieval 
6.
Cuncti simus concanentes by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Spain 
7.
Splendens ceptigera by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
8.
Los set goyts by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
9.
Imperayritz de la ciutat joyosa by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
10.
Ad morem festinamus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort

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