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La Dissection d'un Homme Arme / Van Nevel, Huelgas Ensemble


Release Date: 01/18/1991 
Label:  Sony Classical Vivarte Series Catalog #: 45860   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Anonymous
Performer:  Katelijne Van LaethemHans LatourJosep CabréPeter De Clercq,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul van Nevel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huelgas Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

An experience not to be missed. The music is stunningly beautiful, and the Huelgas Ensemble sing and play so as to leave the listener with an impression of ease, fluidity and enjoyment.

This record, aptly entitled "La Dissection d'un Homme Arme", puts me in mind of Rembrandt's well-known painting "The Anatomy Lesson". Scalpel in hand, like the famous Dr Tulp, Paul van Nevel has made a series of delicate incisions into each of the six Masses contained in MS VI/E/40 of the Naples Biblioteca Nazionale. We, his pupils, as it were, are invited to observe how the anonymous composer has dealt with the five successive sections of the celebrated chanson, displaying them in their original form, by inversion,
Read more cancrizans, by stepwise progression up and down, in canon at the fifth below ... you name it, it's there! Then, in his final masterly demonstration, the surgeon ends his exposition by presenting us with the complete tune, as it appears in the last of the six Masses. Such a scientific analytical approach is a far cry from the somewhat stagemanaged approach of an 'authentic' liturgical reconstruction: we seem to have had a surfeit of these in recent years, and it is refreshing for once to return simply to the music itself as music, to scrutinize it with a new, clean objective look. Some selection was inevitable: it might have proved tedious simply to have recorded the six Masses in tow, and in any case this would have meant spilling over into at least three CDs. In the meantime, a discriminating choice has enabled Paul van Nevel to lay before us with clinical precision the underlying structure of bone, sinew and muscle found in every piece of the series. Indeed, this disc, with its concise, instructive insert notes, might well be a gift to any hardpressed lecturer seeking material to illustrate a course on fifteenth-century counterpoint.

It is, of course, much more than a teaching asset: the music is stunningly beautiful; structurally, the chanson could hardly be a better jumping-off point for polyphonic composition. The Huelgas Ensemble sing and play so as to leave the listener with an impression of ease, fluidity and enjoyment. The voices have too much individuality for a perfect blend, but their contrasts actually serve to enhance the liveliness of the performance. The choice of instrumentation, whether authentic or otherwise, helps to underscore the thrust and direction of the individual lines. One of the best moments is in the Sanctus of Mass IV, with the fine tone of the high voices well to the fore. And the best moment of all comes at the end, in the Credo of Mass VI, when two brisk voices sing the chanson for the last time, in canon, against a gentle backdrop of innocent jubilation from high-pitched recorders. If it has little in common with the text of the Creed, what matter? This is an experience not to be missed!

-- Gramophone [6/1991]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sanctus Mass no 1 on "L'homme armé" by Anonymous
Performer:  Katelijne Van Laethem (Soprano), Hans Latour (Countertenor), Josep Cabré (Bass),
Peter De Clercq (Tenor Recorder), Bart Coen (Soprano Recorder), Rene Van Laken (Fiddle),
Symen Van Mechelen (Sackbut), Sabine Weill (Shawm), Anne Mertens (Soprano),
Marie-Claude Vallin (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul van Nevel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huelgas Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Irish College Chapel, Leuven, Belgium 
Length: 8 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Credo Mass no 2 on "L'homme armé" by Anonymous
Performer:  Josep Cabré (Bass), Bart Coen (Soprano Recorder), Sabine Weill (Shawm),
Rene Van Laken (Fiddle), Peter De Clercq (Tenor Recorder), Symen Van Mechelen (Sackbut),
Anne Mertens (Soprano), Hans Latour (Countertenor), Katelijne Van Laethem (Soprano),
Marie-Claude Vallin (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul van Nevel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huelgas Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Irish College Chapel, Leuven, Belgium 
Length: 9 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
3.
Kyrie Mass no 3 on "L'homme armé" by Anonymous
Performer:  Katelijne Van Laethem (Soprano), Hans Latour (Countertenor), Josep Cabré (Bass),
Bart Coen (Soprano Recorder), Peter De Clercq (Tenor Recorder), Rene Van Laken (Fiddle),
Symen Van Mechelen (Sackbut), Sabine Weill (Shawm), Marie-Claude Vallin (Soprano),
Anne Mertens (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul van Nevel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huelgas Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Irish College Chapel, Leuven, Belgium 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Sanctus Mass no 4 on "L'homme armé" by Anonymous
Performer:  Katelijne Van Laethem (Soprano), Hans Latour (Countertenor), Josep Cabré (Bass),
Bart Coen (Soprano Recorder), Peter De Clercq (Tenor Recorder), Rene Van Laken (Fiddle),
Symen Van Mechelen (Sackbut), Marie-Claude Vallin (Soprano), Anne Mertens (Soprano),
Sabine Weill (Shawm)
Conductor:  Paul van Nevel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huelgas Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Irish College Chapel, Leuven, Belgium 
Length: 9 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5.
Credo/Agnus Dei Mass no 5 on "L'homme armé" by Anonymous
Performer:  Marie-Claude Vallin (Soprano), Hans Latour (Countertenor), Katelijne Van Laethem (Soprano),
Josep Cabré (Bass), Bart Coen (Soprano Recorder), Peter De Clercq (Tenor Recorder),
Rene Van Laken (Fiddle), Symen Van Mechelen (Sackbut), Anne Mertens (Soprano),
Sabine Weill (Shawm)
Conductor:  Paul van Nevel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huelgas Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Irish College Chapel, Leuven, Belgium 
Length: 15 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6.
Credo Mass no 6 on "L'homme armé" by Anonymous
Performer:  Peter De Clercq (Tenor Recorder), Bart Coen (Soprano Recorder), Josep Cabré (Bass),
Anne Mertens (Soprano), Marie-Claude Vallin (Soprano), Katelijne Van Laethem (Soprano),
Hans Latour (Countertenor), Rene Van Laken (Fiddle), Symen Van Mechelen (Sackbut),
Sabine Weill (Shawm)
Conductor:  Paul van Nevel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huelgas Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Irish College Chapel, Leuven, Belgium 
Length: 11 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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