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Roland De Lassus: Magnum Opus Musicum / Tubery, La Fenice


Release Date: 07/14/2009 
Label:  Ricercar   Catalog #: 283   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LASSUS Magnum opus musicum: Selections Jean Tubéry, dir; CCh of Namur; La Fenice RICERCAR 283 (56:08 Text and Translation)


The motets of Orlandus Lassus form a vast collection that almost defies order. The composer published voluminously, starting with his op. 1 in 1555. His peak years were 1568 to 1573, which saw 24 books of motets published. There are over 530 motets in all, over two-thirds of them for five or six voices with the rest Read more ranging from two to 12 voices. Ten years after his death, his sons published Magnum opus musicum (the title borrowed for this disc), a collection of over 700 motets and other works arranged by vocal scoring rather than chronology. Franz Haberl’s collected works followed the same pattern. Wolfgang Boetticher’s monumental study of 1958 restored the works to the chronological order of the original publication, and the new collected works is following suit, as is Peter Bergquist’s edition of the complete motets. (This summary ignores the chronological problem of composition vs. publication, which has no solution.) The resulting disorganization has resulted in paying greater attention to such pivotal major works as the Penitential Psalms , the Sibylline Prophecies , the Tears of St. Peter , and the Lamentations of Jeremiah, which can be comprehended more readily.


This program avoids his familiar liturgical and other sacred motets, displaying a less familiar side of his work. As such, it adds a useful view of his genius. But this selection is also valuable because it includes not just a lot of unrecorded motets, but several that have been cited in the literature for their novelty. Ut queant laxis was the chant hymn that gave Guido of Arezzo the names of the notes (the first syllable of each half-line of the first strophe rises one step from ut, or do, to la). It is set by Lassus for a solo voice singing the crucial syllables, leaving the rest of the hymn to the other voices. Super flumina Babylonis is laid out letter by letter, syllable by syllable, in an attempt at humor that is not always understood by commentators. In hora ultima (pointedly placed last in the program), more familiar from several previous recordings, is a serene contemplation of the end of life, full of madrigalesque illustrations of the words he uses. The program is laid out in the notes with a narrative drawn from excerpts from the composer’s letters to Archduke Wilhelm V, written during his foreign travels. Several of his cantiones sine textu , or instrumental pieces, rare among his works, are also included. The interpretation and performances are more than satisfactory, as we know from the work of these ensembles.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber


This disc romps through the Magnum Opus Musicum, a vast posthumous collection of Lassus motets. The selection magnificently shows the composer’s many moods, divined through both his music and his letters to his patron, the Archduke of Bavaria, a source Jean Tubéry knows well.

A strange kinship to Haydn emerges as we hear Lassus absorbing styles, enriching them, and turning them to musical wit. The composer’s freewheeling imagination encompasses counterpoint, choral declamation, word-painting and vocal scoring to reveal a persona erudite and devout, yet impish.

Key to Lassus was the forces he used. The Bavarian court was one of Europe’s most prestigious, known particularly for its instrumentalists. This performance luxuriates in the textures, vocal and instrumental, that Lassus exploited. Homophony, one of the composer’s favourite tools for articulating rhetoric, is realised to stunning effect.

Tubéry creates an informed and imaginative combination of voices and instruments, producing sumptuous colours. He neatly captures musical gestures encapsulating word meaning, and smoothly executes interlocked imitation. Nor does he shy away from being outré when this seems called for, as in musical puns of Super flumina Babylonis. The musicians consistently surprise with their verve, teasing subtle musical details out of the verses.

Apart from its vague and uninformative sleeve notes, this disc’s production values are outstanding, resolving perfectly the challenge of balance among diverse forces. It richly earns its title.

-- Berta Joncus, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quid trepidas by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Cornet), Jean Tubery (Flute)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1570 
Length: 5 Minutes 20 Secs. 
2.
Haec quae ter à 3 by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Cornet), Jean Tubery (Flute)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1575 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
Fertur in conviviis vinus by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Cornet), Jean Tubery (Flute)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1564; Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Lauda mater ecclesia by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Cornet), Jean Tubery (Flute)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Munich, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
5.
Super flumina Babylonis by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Flute), Jean Tubery (Cornet)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
6.
Bicinium no 9 by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Cornet), Jean Tubery (Flute)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1577; Munich, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
7.
Quam pulchra es by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Flute), Jean Tubery (Cornet)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
8.
Nunc gaudere licet (Or sus, esgasions nous), motet for 6 voices, M. vi (S. xix/66) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Flute), Jean Tubery (Cornet)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
9.
In hora ultima, motet for 6 voices, M. xxi (S. xv/151) by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Jean Tubery (Flute), Jean Tubery (Cornet)
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Fenice
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Magnum opus musicum: Quid trepidas a 6
Magnum opus musicum: Haec quae ter a 3
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones IV vocum: Pulvis et umbra
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones IV vocum: Fertur in conviviis
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones IV vocum: Qui regit astra
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones IV vocum: Ut queant laxis
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones IV vocum: Lauda Mater Ecclesia
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones IV vocum: Cantione sine textu a 2, No. 16
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones V vocum: In quoscunque locos
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones V vocum: Super flumina Babylonis
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones V vocum: Hispanum ad coenam mercator Belga
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones V vocum: Bestia stultus homo
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones V vocum: Cantione sine textu a 2, No. 21
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones V vocum: Quam pulchra es (Instrumental)
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones V vocum: Quam pulchra es
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: Homo cum in honore
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: Non des mulieri
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: Nunc gaudere licet
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: Luxuriosa res vinum
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: O decus celsi
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: Cantione sine textu a 2, No. 22
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: Ad primum morsum
Magnum opus musicum: Sequntur cantiones VI vocum: In hora ultima

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