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Secret Voices - Chants & Polyphony From The Las Huelgas Codex / Anonymous 4

Anonymous 4
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 807510   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

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

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SECRET VOICES Anonymous 4 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 807510 (SACD: 58:27 Text and Translation)


This is the first collection of music from the Codex Las Huelgas in almost a decade. Among its predecessors are the following:


Atrium Musicae, Odeon CDM 5 65314 Read more 2 (1970)


Sequentia, DHM-BMG 05472-77238-2 (1989)


New London Consort, L’Oiseau-Lyre 433 148-2 (1989)


Discantus, Opus 111 OPS 30-68 (1992)


Huelgas Ensemble, Sony SK 53341 (1992)


Voces Huelgas, Sony Iberica SK 60846 (1998)


Voces Huelgas, Sony Iberica SK 60844 (1998)


Mille Fleurs, Signum SIG 043 (2002)


Alia Musica, Harmonia Mundi HMI 987021 (2002)


These 10 discs contain most of the recordings of the music collected in this 13th-century book of chant and polyphony for the Cistercian nuns of Las Huelgas convent in Burgos, Spain. While only 107 of the 186 pieces have been recorded by my count, all but 19 of those 107 pieces are on one or more of these 10 discs. Of the 19 pieces recorded elsewhere on scattered miscellaneous programs, only 13 are vocal performances. The new disc has added four unrecorded titles to the total. The remainder of the pieces are among the selections less often recorded (three of them are not on any of the discs listed above), omitting three of the four laments and half a dozen other pieces that rank among the most duplicated pieces on records.


Hence this is a collection of 23 selections that are less likely to be found in the average collection. It has the further advantage of a program that fits the music into a day in the convent from first light to night. Ten tracks in the middle represent the Mass, including four of the Ordinary chants. This disc is reminiscent of two other Anonymous 4 programs, Love’s Illusion ( Fanfare 18:1) and Miracles of Sant’Iago (19:5), selections from the Montpellier Codex and the Codex Calixtinus, respectively, three of the most celebrated medieval manuscripts. The knowledgeable programming enhances a disc that already demonstrates the ensemble’s stunning unanimity of sound, clarity, precision, and balance. The series of recordings that this group has made has maintained such a consistently high level of excellence that it seems difficult to assert that this one marks a new level of achievement. Suffice it to say that they have never made a better disc.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1. Virgines egregie by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
2. Ave maris stella by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
3. Castrum pudicicie/Virgo viget melius/Flos filius eius by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
4. Fa fa mi fa/Ut re mi ut by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
5. O Maria virgo/O Maria maris stella by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1400; Italy 
6. Benedicamus Domino cum cantico by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
7. Unica Hispaniae: Salve porta/Salve salus/Salve sancta parens by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: 12th Cent 
8. Kyrie "Rex Virginum" by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 1270; England 
9. Nativity of the Virgin Mary: Gloria "Spiritus et alme" by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: England 
10. Verbum bonum et suavi by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
11. Ave gloriosa mater/Salve virgo regia by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century 
12. Sanctus and Benedictus by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
13. Gaude virgo nobilis by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
14. Gloriosa spes reorum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
15. Verbum caro factum est by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; Italy 
16. O monialis concio by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
17. Belial vocatur by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
18. In virgulto gracie by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
19. Ave regina caelorum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
20. Alma Redemptoris mater by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 10th Century 
21. Si vocatus ad nupcias by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
22. Mater patris et filia by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; France 
23. Benedicamus Domino by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1200 
24. Omnium in te christe by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4

Featured Sound Samples

Castrum pudicicie/Virgo viget melius/Flos filius eius (Anonymous)
Gloriosa spes reorum (Anonymous)

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