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Medieval English Music / Hilliard Ensemble


Release Date: 02/10/2009 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord Catalog #: 1951106   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  AnonymousJohn PlummerJohn Forest
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 52 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For many, the most immediately appealing aspect of this record is the stylistic range of the music presented. Fourteenth-century English music has had little attention paid to it, not unsurprisingly in view of the extreme scarcity of sources. In fact, not a single complete manuscript from that period has survived. The fifteenth century is better served, largely through the survival of the Old Hall Manuscript at one end and the "Eton Choirbook" at the other. From these two centuries, for much of which English music was held in high esteem by continental musicians, the Hilliard Ensemble have chosen a varied and exciting programme, from simple and essentially homophonic pieces to more ambitious works that require considerable vocal Read more dexterity. Among the fourteenth-century pieces Alleluia: Hie est is a notable example of the latter category, and the virtuosity of the part-writing is strangely spiced with odd chromatic shifts. Perhaps the most ambitious composition from this earlier repertory is the double texted Thomas gemma/Thomas cesus, where the upper voices (each carrying a different text) are brilliantly interwoven while the lower two voices also form a pair in imitation of the upper ones. The fifteenth-century pieces are equally varied, from simple carols to John Plummer's votive antiphon Anna mater.

The Hilliard Ensemble's performances are consistently good and show a rare and sensitive understanding of the music, with crisp and lively rhythms in the more active pieces and carefullyshaped lines and well-calculated increases of tension in the more reflective ones. Their account of Doleo super te is a fine example of the sustained power and carefully-controlled expressive singing which they produce at their best, as well as a reminder of how much good and largely anonymous music survives from the period. This record, sensitively-produced and generously accompanied by texts, translations and helpful notes, is greatly to be welcomed.

-- Gramophone [7/1983]
reviewing the original LP release
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Works on This Recording

1. Alleluia Hic est vere martir by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2. Singularis laudis digna by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
3. Doleo super te/Absolon, fili mi by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4. Thomas gemma cantuarie by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1300; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5. Civitas nusquam conditur by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1330; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6. Tu civicum primas by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7. Mater Christi nobilis by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
8. Ite missa est by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
9. A nywe werke by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
10. Anna mater matris Christi by John Plummer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 6 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
11. Ther is no rose of swych vertu by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1420; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 
12. Tota pulcra es amica mea by John Forest
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
13. Marvel not, Joseph by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
14. O potores exquisiti by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1982 
Venue:  Notre-Dame des Anges, Lurs, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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