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Adriaen Willaert: Vespro Della Beata Vergine

Willaert / Capilla Flamenca / Snellings
Release Date: 08/14/2012 
Label:  Ricercar   Catalog #: 325   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  AnonymousAnnibale PadovanoAdrian Willaert
Performer:  Joris Verdin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



WILLAERT/JACHET Vespro della beata Vergine. Ricercars. PADOVANO Toccatas Capilla Flamenca RICERCAR 325 (79:30 Text and Translation)


Willaert didn’t create the double-choir psalm, though for the longest time he was credited with it. Examples exist that were composed earlier in the 16th century in the Venetian-controlled towns of Bergamo and Treviso, and earlier still at the Court of Ferrara in the 1470s. It was Read more Willaert’s published collection of these psalms specifically for Vespers in 1550, however, that first drew attention to the genre, and where the man who had held the prestigious post of maestro di cappella at St. Mark’s in Venice for 23 years (and would continue to do so for another decade, until his death) traveled, other composers followed. Many similar collections immediately appeared and continued into the next century, of which Monteverdi’s is of course the most celebrated.


Willaert’s psalms demonstrate an increasingly sophisticated antiphonal treatment of the choirs. They no longer simply alternate verses ( salmi senza riposte ) between groups, but can overlap content slightly ( salmi spezzati ), and be performed by two differently composed choirs ( salmi con le sue riposte )—one made up of soloists, the other employing multiple singers to one or more parts. This leads the Capilla Flamenca to abandon for this release its usual ensemble of four singers augmented by three gambists, a recorder soloist, lutenist, and organist, and settle instead on two countertenors, four tenors, a baritone, bass, and organist. (The organ is heard in interludes, not in the vocal selections.) The core group still consists of countertenor Marnix de Cat, tenor Tore Denys, baritone Lieven Termont, and bass Dirk Snellings, and functions as the soloists’ ensemble.


The presentation includes five of Willaert’s Vespers psalms. Three of these are actually collaborative efforts between Willaert and Jacques Colebault, better known in Italy as Jachet de Mantua. (They take alternate verses, employing contrasting contrapuntal techniques and meters.) These are interspersed—as they might have been in actual performance before the Doge in the Basilica of St. Mark’s—with other works, mostly motets by Willaert, including a simpler, spirited gem of a Magnificat, and almost inevitably an Ave maris stella with richly imitative writing of great beauty. Six interludes are supplied as well for solo organ, drawn from the ricercars and toccatas of both Willaert and Annibale Padovano, who functioned as first organist at St. Marks through Willaert’s last 10 years there, and the brief employment of his immediate successor, Cipriano de Rore.


Capilla Flamenca’s readings are spirited and precise. Each voice part is balanced with the others, while maintaining a textural clarity essential in music this complex. Enunciation is excellent. I would only note on the negative side that some minor vocal problems associated with Marnix de Cat’s intonation and tonal production in the ensemble’s last recording (secular works and Motets by Isaac, Ricercar 318, Fanfare 35:5) continue in this release. These are not frequently evident, however, and the overall effect of the group remains one of great focus and transparency.


In short, this is a most welcome release, both for the seldom-heard Willaert Vespers, and for another chance to sample the art of Capilla Flamenca.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1. Deus in adiutorium, introductio (6 part introductory prayer) by Anonymous
Period: Medieval 
Written: Europe 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 1 Minutes 2 Secs. 
2. Toccata for organ in the 8th tone by Annibale Padovano
Performer:  Joris Verdin (Organ)
Date of Recording: 03/2012 
Venue:  Bologna, Basilica di San Petronio 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
3. Ricercares: Ricercar 1 a 4 by Adrian Willaert
Performer:  Joris Verdin (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Europe 
Date of Recording: 03/2012 
Venue:  Bologna, Basilica di San Petronio 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4. Dixit Dominus (Psalm 109) for 8 voices by Adrian Willaert
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 6 Minutes 31 Secs. 
5. Laudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 112), for 8 voices by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
6. Ricercares: Ricercar primo a 3 by Adrian Willaert
Performer:  Joris Verdin (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 03/2012 
Venue:  Bologna, Basilica di San Petronio 
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
7. I sacri e santi salmi che si cantano a Vespro e Compieta: Laetatus sum by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 6 Minutes 50 Secs. 
8. Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126), for 4 or 5 voices (collaboration with Jacquet of Mantua) by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
9. Ricercares: Ricercar settimo a 3 by Adrian Willaert
Performer:  Joris Verdin (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 03/2012 
Venue:  Bologna, Basilica di San Petronio 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
10. Lauda Jerusalem by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
11. Ave maris stella by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 7 Minutes 42 Secs. 
12. Ricercares: Ricercar 10 a 4 by Adrian Willaert
Performer:  Joris Verdin (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Europe 
Date of Recording: 03/2012 
Venue:  Bologna, Basilica di San Petronio 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
13. I sacri e santi salmi che si cantano a Vespro e Compieta: Magnificat for 4 Voices by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 8 Minutes 27 Secs. 
14. I sacri e santi salmi che si cantano a Vespro e Compieta: Benedicamus in laude Jesu by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
15. Toccata for organ in the 3rd and 4th tones by Annibale Padovano
Performer:  Joris Verdin (Organ)
Date of Recording: 03/2012 
Venue:  Bologna, Basilica di San Petronio 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
16. Benedicta es, coelorum regina, motet for 7 voices (Musica Nova) by Adrian Willaert
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Gijzegem, Kapel Zusters van Sint Vincent 
Length: 7 Minutes 5 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Deus in adiutorium
Toccata del ottavo tono
Benedicta es, coelorum regina a 7
Ricercare No. 1: Ricercar I
Dixit Dominus
Laudate pueri Dominum
Ricercar primo
Laetatus sum
Nisi Dominus
Ricercare settimo: Ricercar settimo
Lauda Jerusalem Dominum
Ave maris stella
Ricercar No. 10: Ricercar X
Magnificat a 4
Benedicamus in laude Jesu
Toccata del terzo e quarto tono

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