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Sacred Hearts & Secret Music / Musica Secreta


Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Divine Art   Catalog #: 25077   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giovanni PalestrinaCypriano de RoreAnonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica SecretaCelestial Sirens
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"The ornamentation...sounds both natural and beautiful... an aural feast. Magical." – Richard Lawrence, Gramophone

EDITORS CHOICE CD – OCTOBER 2009
"A sense of scholarship as well as intense musicality runs through the whole: fascinating and lovely." – James Inverne, Gramophone

"This recording will appeal to different people for one or more of a variety of reasons; if you sit back and listen to some beautiful singing, the {Palestrina Mass] certainly makes the recording very worthwhile. De Rore's Magnificat too receives an attractive performance. The beautiful performances of the Holy Saturday Lamentations..life-enhancing music, designed to lift the soul. The recording is very
Read more good, with great clarity... the presentation is attractive... the notes are informative. This new recording is a worthy addition to Musica Secreta's discography ane to the catalogue in general." – Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International

SACRED HEARTS + SECRET MUSIC Agnes Deborah Roberts, dir; Laurie Stras, dir; Musica Secreta; Celestial Sirens; Sacred Hearts Schola DIVINE ART 25077 (79:31 Text and Translation)

PALESTRINA Missa Veni sponsa Christi. Lamentations, Book 3—Holy Saturday. Surge illuminare. Alma redemptoris mater. RORE Magnificat sexti toni. Regina caeli. anon Cantabant sancti. Beata Agnes. Amo Christum. Agnes beata virginis. Laetabunde celebremus. Stans beata Agnes

The Palestrina Mass was recorded twice under George Guest, both versions still available, so this arrangement for women’s voices may be superfluous. While little is spelled out in the notes, we are told that the bass voice is transposed up an octave, the harmony being completed by the continuo’s playing at the original pitch. The effect is light, lovely, beautifully rendered by six women on the four vocal parts, but the full sonority of the polyphonic texture is missing. The notes indicate that this manner of performance was normal in convents of the 16th century, the locale recreated here.

The Mass is only part of this program, 22 minutes of a very full disc. The rest consists of chant and polyphonic motets selected to fit the events in a novel, Sacred Hearts , by Sarah Dunant. It is set in a convent in Ferrara in 1570, beginning with the feast of St. Agnes (January 21) and ending with Holy Week and Easter. Palestrina’s Mass fits the plot perfectly, for it is based on his own motet, which, in turn, is a parody of the seventh-mode antiphon for the Common of Virgins (there is also an eighth-mode chant antiphon on the same text). The motets of Palestrina and Rore were included because both composers had connections with the court of Ferrara. (We think of Palestrina in Rome, but in the 1560s he directed concerts at Cardinal Ippolito d’Este’s famous villa in Tivoli, near Rome.) The Lamentations for Holy Saturday are the set superbly recorded by Simon Ravens (25:6). The most interesting chant is the sequence for St. Agnes. Altogether, this is an offbeat program of considerable interest, not exactly comparable to competitive versions of the music.

FANFARE: J. F. Weber Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Missa "Veni sponsa Christi" by Giovanni Palestrina
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
2.
Surge illuminare Jerusalem by Giovanni Palestrina
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1575; Rome, Italy 
3.
Alma Redemptoris mater by Giovanni Palestrina
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
4.
Lamentationum Hieremiae prophetae: Lesson 3 ("Incipit oratio") for Holy Saturday by Giovanni Palestrina
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
5.
Magnificat in sexti toni by Cypriano de Rore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
6.
Regina caeli laetare by Cypriano de Rore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
7.
Cantabant sancti canticum novum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
8.
Beata Agnes in medio flammarum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
9.
Amo Christum, in cuius thalamum introivi by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
10.
Agnes, beata Virginis by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
11.
Sequenza in onore Sant'Agnese by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens
12.
Stans beata Agnes in medio flammarum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Secreta,  Celestial Sirens

Sound Samples

Cantabant sancti canticum novum
Motets for 5-8 Voices: Book 3 for 5, 6 and 8 Voices: Surge illuminare Jerusalem
Beata Agnes in Medio Flammarum
Amo Christum, In Cuius Thalamum Introivi
Agnes, Beatae Virgins
Masses, Book 9: Missa Veni Sponsa Christi: Kyrie
Masses, Book 9: Missa Veni Sponsa Christi: Gloria
Masses, Book 9: Missa Veni Sponsa Christi: Credo
Masses, Book 9: Missa Veni Sponsa Christi: Sanctus
Masses, Book 9: Missa Veni Sponsa Christi: Agnus dei
Sequenza In Onore Di Sant'Agnese
Magnificat Sexti Toni
Stans Beata Agnes in Medio Flammarum
Alma redemptoris mater
Lamentations, Book 3: Lamentation I, Book 3, "De Lamentatione Jeremiae Prophetae"
Lamentations, Book 3: Lamentation II, Book 3, "Quomodo obscuratum est aurum"
Lamentations, Book 3: Lamentation III, Book 3, "Incipit Oratio, Jeremiae Prophetae"
Regina caeli

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 very nice July 16, 2013 By john r. (Fort Lauderdale, FL) See All My Reviews "great ethereal sound out of female voices.... excellent group and material. very relaxing. beautiful" Report Abuse
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