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Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol. 5 / Metcalfe, Blue Heron


Release Date: 03/17/2017 
Label:  Blue Heron   Catalog #: 1007  
Composer:  Hugh SturmyRobert HuntJohn MasonAnonymous
Conductor:  Scott Metcalfe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Blue Heron
Number of Discs: 1 
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CD:  $19.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Volume 5 of Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks contains the world premiere recording of a Mass by an anonymous English composer from the first half of the 16th century. Since the source of the cantus firmus has not been identified, the Mass remains without a name ("sine nomine"). The release also includes an antiphon addressed to St. Augustine of Canterbury which is the only surviving work of Hugh Sturmy, a short and dramatic Ave Maria mater dei by Robert Hunt, whose Stabat mater is a highlight of vol. 3 of the series, and the sonorous and captivating Ve nobis miseris by John Mason, for men's voices in five parts. This recording is part of a 5-release project which
Read more began in 2010.

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REVIEW:

The anonymously-composed Mass in particular is superb. Whoever wrote it almost certainly knew Taverner's Gloria tibi Trinitas, for echoes of it abound, yet it is no slavish imitation. For this piece alone the disc is worth owning. This is one of the discoveries of the year.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Exultet in hac die by Hugh Sturmy
Conductor:  Scott Metcalfe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Blue Heron
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
2.
Ave Maria mater dei by Robert Hunt
Conductor:  Scott Metcalfe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Blue Heron
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
3.
Ve nobis miseris by John Mason
Conductor:  Scott Metcalfe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Blue Heron
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
4.
Kyrie "Orbis factor" by Anonymous
Conductor:  Scott Metcalfe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Blue Heron
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1380; England 
5.
Missa sine nomine by Anonymous
Conductor:  Scott Metcalfe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Blue Heron
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; Burgundy, France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Luminous performances July 17, 2018 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "In the 1540s Thomas Bull compiled partbooks for the Canterbury Cathedral Choir. They were only in use for a few years, as Edward II dissolved professional choirs. The books were stored in Peterhouse College and all but forgotten. Blue Heron has brought this music back to life, with scholarly research and committed performances. This is the fifth and final volume of their traversal through the Peterhouse Partbooks. The centerpiece of the release is an anonymous Missa sine Nomine. It's a model of English Renaissance choral writing. The contrapuntal writing is a bit restrained. But each line is beautifully crafted, making for a pleasing whole. Also included are works by composers who are all but ciphers today - Hugh Sturmy, Robert Hunt, and John Mason. Even so, it's thrilling to hear this music. Each piece is a finely crafted gem. Blue Heron performs to their usual high standard. The ensemble has a warm, rich sound. The recording venue provides just the right amount of ambiance -- enough to give the music a luminous glow, without smearing the individual lines. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
 My name is nobody March 18, 2017 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "The marvellous series Music From The Peterhouse Partbooks ends very much on a high note, with this fifth release from Scott Metcalfe and his choir Blue Heron. The Peterhouse Partbook brand has become a byword for excellence in English polyphony in a formerly ill-understood period, the first forty years or so of the 16th century. This is thanks almost entirely to this series on Blue Heron's own label, based on the scholarship of Nick Sandon, who rescued the music by restoring lost parts and creating a performing edition. It's the Anonymous Missa sine nomine that stands out here; talk about poor branding! After being ignored for centuries, this piece comes to life in this recording, grabs you and forces you to pay attention. It's obviously engaged the singers, who provide an outstanding example of power and precision in choral singing. Back in 2011 Alex Ross talked about how Blue Heron had "a way of propelling a phrase toward a goal—the music takes on narrative momentum, its moods dovetailing with the theme of the text." Missa sine nomine literally means Mass without a name, meaning it was freely composed rather than being based upon other music. The answer of Odysseus to Polyphemus the Cyclops' query was "My name is Nobody", but as always Homer had a great story to tell. And likewise this Mass without a name and without an author tells a compelling story of sin and redemption. In the entire 5-CD series Blue Heron brings these five hundred year old stories alive, here in the 21st century. It's a remarkable achievement." Report Abuse
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