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Johannes Regis: Opera Omnia / Wickham, The Clerks


Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Musique En Wallonie   Catalog #: 848   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



REGIS Missa Ecce ancilla Domini. Missa L’homme armé. Celsitonantis. Ave Maria virgo serena. Ave Maria à 3. Lux solemnis. Clangat plebs. Lauda Syon. Puisque ma damme. S’il vous plaist. Patrem vilayge. O admirabile commercium Edward Wickham, cond; The Clerks MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE 848 (2 CDs: 126:33 Text and Translation)


Johannes Regis (died 1496) joins the exclusive club of medieval composers whose complete works, with this CD entitled “Opera omnia,” have now been Read more recorded. The same label gave us Johannes Ciconia (7:4; CD in 21:6); Philippe de Vitry was nicely covered in two complementary anniversary releases (15:2); Hildegard of Bingen is fully represented on records, even if nine works must be found outside of the series recorded by Sequentia (22:3). Kevin Moll recorded both of the masses on this program (24:1), while James Wood (Amon Ra), Rebecca Stewart (Ricercar), and Dirk Snellings on Eufoda all made the final motet above (not to mention its first recording under Richard Taruskin on his Collegium label). Christopher Page did Puisque ma damme (10:4; CD in 10:6 and 30:6) and Anthony Rooley made S’il vous plaist (4: 6). That’s the extent of the discography, indicating that seven motets can be heard here for the first time.


From at least 1451 until his death, Johannes Regis was master of the choristers at the collegiate church of St. Vincent in Soignies, diocese of Cambrai, a town that had close connections to the Burgundian court. Dufay may have been his teacher, for Cambrai tried to lure him away for a similar post at the cathedral where Dufay was serving, and the two remained in touch until the older man’s death. Binchois may have been another teacher, for he spent his last years with Regis as provost of St. Vincent. The two masses heard here both demonstrate close links to Dufay. Missa Ecce ancilla Domini uses multiple cantus firmi, as Dufay’s Mass on the same cantus firmus also does. Missa L’homme armé has additional cantus firmi from chants for St. Michael, apparently composed for Cambrai cathedral for use on the saint’s feast day.


The “Patrem for the village” refers to Credo I, a term used by Ockeghem and other composers. The only source of this setting, copied after the composer’s death, shows the kind of telescoping of the text (oddly, the simultaneities include “Crucifixus” and “Et resurrexit”!) that is more familiar in the Classical era (e.g., early Haydn). The motets for five voices were pathbreaking, providing a model for more celebrated contemporaries such as Obrecht and Josquin. Petrucci included four of them in his printed book of five-voice motets, more than any other composer. The two chansons are presumably the only surviving examples of many more secular pieces.


Wickham has done a splendid job with his ensemble, formerly known as the Clerks’ Group. Kevin Moll was creditable in the earlier version of the masses and his notes remain valuable for a more thorough dissection of the many cantus firmi that occur in both masses. I don’t expect this set to be surpassed for a while.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Missa "Ecce ancilla Domini"/"Ne timeas Maria" by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; Netherlands (Holland 
2.
Missa "Dum sacrum mysterium"/"L'homme armé" by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; Netherlands (Holland 
3.
O admirabile commercium/Verbum caro by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
4.
Puisque ma damme/Je m'en voy by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
5.
Celsitonantis ave genitrix/Abrahae fit promissio by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
6.
Ave Maria virgo serena by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
7.
Ave Maria à 3 by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
8.
Lux solemnis by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
9.
Clangat plebs by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 
10.
Lauda Syon by Johannes Regis
Conductor:  Edward Wickham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Clerks' Group
Period: Medieval 

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