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Song Of Songs - Palestrina, Gombert, Lassus, Victoria / Stile Antico


Release Date: 04/14/2009 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 807489   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jacobus Clemens non PapaGiovanni PalestrinaAnonymousFrancisco Guerrero,   ... 
Performer:  Benedict HymasAlison Hill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

You get a good feeling listening to this recording: good energy, good sound, good music, good sense of style and of the music's underlying emotional and spiritual context. What more is there to say, except "Happy listening!"


After hearing Jean Lhéritier's magnificent and deeply affecting setting of Nigra sum you might understandably feel cleansed, blessed, and exonerated from all misdeeds you've ever committed, its effect is so spiritually moving and textually illuminating. And we should be grateful that the 12 (or so) singers that make up the remarkable young British vocal ensemble Stile Antico are the polished and stylish vehicle for transmitting this beauty
Read more and truth to our ears, and they do this consistently throughout a program that will intrigue and entice all Renaissance choral music fans. The theme is the Song of Songs, which is not exactly an original idea, but it doesn't matter: the music itself carries the day, and besides, most of this repertoire is not so commonly heard.

Lhéritier is one of those undeservingly lesser-known compositional voices (although happily the Nigra sum recorded here can be found online in the Choral Public Domain Library, minus the abundant, juicy cross-relations Stile Antico provides in its performance!). His style will remind experienced listeners of Gombert (who was a close contemporary and whose marvelous Quam pulchra es is included), from its endlessly flowing, cadence-averse polyphony and heart-penetrating melodic themes right down to the open-fifth ending.

The program intersperses the primary choral works with pertinent plainchant settings of Song of Songs texts--a sensible idea both for variety and for calling attention to the relationship between formal church liturgy and composers' more elaborate (sometimes more "worldly") interpretations of these popular passages. The plainchants, each lasting less than a minute, also serve as a nice contrast to the longer motets, the most impressive of which must be Victoria's huge (10-plus-minute) Vadam et circuibo, recorded many times by others but never better than here. You get a good feeling listening to this recording: good energy, good sound, good music, good sense of style and of the music's underlying emotional and spiritual context. What more is there to say, except "Happy listening!"

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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Works on This Recording

1.
Ego flos campi by Jacobus Clemens non Papa
Performer:  Benedict Hymas (Tenor), Alison Hill (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Written: pub 1555 
Length: 6 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2.
Osculetur me osculo oris sui by Giovanni Palestrina
Performer:  Benedict Hymas (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1854; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Cum esset Rex by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Medieval 
Length: 0 Minutes 43 Secs. 
4.
Surge propera amica mea by Francisco Guerrero
Performer:  Alison Hill (Soprano), Benedict Hymas (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
5.
Quam pulchra es by Nicolas Gombert
Performer:  Benedict Hymas (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Flanders, Belgium 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
6.
Nigra sum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Medieval 
Length: 0 Minutes 40 Secs. 
7.
Veni dilecte mi by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1571; Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
8.
Vadam, et circumibo civitatem by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Benedict Hymas (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Written: pub 1572 
Length: 10 Minutes 41 Secs. 
9.
Tota pulchra es by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Medieval 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
10.
Ego flos campi by Francisco Guerrero
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1589; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
11.
Nigra sum by Jean Lhéritier
Performer:  Benedict Hymas (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 33 Secs. 
12.
Laeva ejus sub capite meo by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Medieval 
Length: 0 Minutes 37 Secs. 
13.
Hortus conclusus by Rodrigo de Ceballos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
14.
Nigra sum sed formosa by Giovanni Palestrina
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1584; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
15.
Speciosa facta es by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Medieval 
Length: 0 Minutes 42 Secs. 
16.
Veni dilecte mi by Sebastian de Vivanco
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
17.
Trahe me post te, Virgo Maria by Francisco Guerrero
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
18.
Jam hiems transiit by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Medieval 
Length: 0 Minutes 48 Secs. 
19.
Vidi speciosam by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Alison Hill (Soprano), Benedict Hymas (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Length: 6 Minutes 38 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Ego flos campi (Clemens non Papa)
Veni dilecte mi (Lassus)

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