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Sacred Music By Robert Parsons / Carwood, The Cardinall's Musick

Parsons / Cardinall's Musick / Carwood
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67874   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Any attention given to the music of English composer Robert Parsons (c1535-1572) is a good thing, and The Cardinall's Musick takes a good thing and makes it extraordinary, exploiting the richness of Parson's harmonies with a bright, focused, well-balanced sound. The 18-voice ensemble (among the voices are several veterans of The Sixteen) is an ideal number not only to convey the full measure of those extended waves of harmonies, but to sustain the long-spun melodic lines that weave through the supporting chordal structure.

To know Parson's music is to be immediately impressed with the composer's mastery of the essential forms of imitative writing, and with his rare facility for
Read more dramatic effect, especially powerful in his Latin works. Of course, the wonderful Ave Maria is deservedly his best-known work, but there are others here to rival that one: the relatively short (less than four minutes) Peccantem me quotidie, for five voices (no soprano), and the similarly scored Libera me, Domine (those marvelously vibrant chords--and those cross-relations!), the Credo quod redemptor (a good example of how Parsons, as he does most prominently in the Ave Maria, likes to create little catchy melodic figures and then repeats them over and over, but in such a way that you look forward to each repetition), and the masterpiece O bone Jesu.

Andrew Carwood and his Cardinall colleagues offer only the second CD program in the catalog devoted exclusively to Parsons' music (a fine Naxos recording with Voces Cantabiles is the other--type Q11409 in Search Reviews)--and because there is precious little of Parsons' output in existence, there is some overlap in the two programs, but not nearly enough to warrant owning one of these discs over the other. If you care about Parsons' work, you will definitely want both. And the sound on this one, from the favored venue of Britain's Fitzalan Chapel at Arundel Castle, is first rate. Don't let the rather stern visage of Queen Mary I on the cover deter or mislead you: the music and these performances welcome and uplift, invite and invigorate. Highly recommended.

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com



The Cardinall's Musick are at their best in this repertoire, and their performances have confidence and authority...Like many composers of his time and place, Parsons can be heard to navigate between different styles according to the liturgical demands placed on him. He does so surefootedly...Parsons certainly deserves the hearing that Carwood's musicians afford us, so this addition to the catalogue is very valuable.

– Gramophone [11/2011]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Retribue Servo Tuo by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
2.
Responds for the Dead: Peccantem me, quotidie by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
3.
Responds for the Dead: Libera me by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
4.
Responds for the Dead: Credo by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
5.
O bone Jesu by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1560s; England 
6.
Magnificat by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
7.
Domine Quis Habitabit by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
8.
Deliver me from mine enemies by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
9.
Ave Maria by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1560s; England 
10.
Iam Christus Astra Ascenderat by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
11.
Holy Lord God Almighty by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick

Featured Sound Samples

Responds for the Dead: Peccantem me, quotidie
O bone Jesu

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