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Jacques Arcadelt: Sacred Works

Arcadelt / Capella / Brueser
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777763   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Jacques Arcadelt was a highly prolific, very successful Renaissance composer of mostly secular vocal music. He was born and educated in Belgium, then eventually went to Italy where his numerous innovations merging Italian mannerist spirit with Franco-Flemish polyphonic sophistication distinguished him as one of the most important founders of the mature Italian madrigal form. His madrigals were also remarkably popular during his lifetime since they tended to be simple and catchy, all but eschewing any dependence on virtuosity. They were, for instance, often intentionally laced with elements of the chanson so that amateurs as well as professionals could sing them.

Arcadelt also wrote a fair number of sacred works that, given the
Read more diverse selection offered here by the Josquin Capella and director Meinolf Brüser, apparently were conceived in a similar fashion. Be it the four-part Lamentationes Jeremiae, the eight-part Pater Noster, or any of the five-, six-, or seven-part settings included on the program, the vocal fabric of the ensemble (and hence, often its beauty) is always reliant on the simplicity and accessibility of the parts. When the text requires drama, such as in the opening motet Estate fortes in bello, instead of compromising the harmonic uniformity with a dominant voice, Arcadelt skillfully weaves pairs and trios of voices to achieve the effect. By contrast, in the Agnus Dei movement of the following Missa Ave regina caelorum, where the austerity of the few poignant lines is subtle, the gradations of the ensemble are delivered in near chant-like unison. While the text in the previously mentioned Lamentationes Jeremiae certainly lacks such austerity or subtlety, the male quartet is equally successful in its similar delivery.

The sound is fine, a little reverberant though not lacking in detail. The only other currently available recording of Arcadelt’s sacred music is Le Divin Arcadelt by Musica Contexta (Chandos) featuring selections accompanied by a small consort of instrumentalists. Although there is some debate about the authenticity, and thus appropriateness, of performing these vocal works with instruments, Musica Contexta’s renditions are nevertheless very beautifully done, joining the current release from the Josquin Capella as worthy and recommendable introductions to Arcadelt’s sacred music. -- John Greene, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Estote fortes in bello (2), antiphon for 6 voices, S. 10/6 by Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1530 
Date of Recording: 03/16/2010 
Venue:  Basilika Knechtsteden 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2. Missa "Ave Regina caelorum" by Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/16/2010 
Venue:  Basilika Knechtsteden 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3. Istorum est enim (2), motet for 7 voices, S. 10/15 by Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1564 
Date of Recording: 03/16/2010 
Venue:  Basilika Knechtsteden 
Length: 6 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4. Domine non secundum peccata nostra (3), motet for 3-5 voices, S. 10/10 by Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1530 
Date of Recording: 03/16/2010 
Venue:  Basilika Knechtsteden 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
5. Pater noster by Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/16/2010 
Venue:  Basilika Knechtsteden 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
6. Lamentationes Jeremiae (3) by Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1557; France 
Date of Recording: 03/16/2010 
Venue:  Basilika Knechtsteden 
Length: 7 Minutes 15 Secs. 
7. O pulcherrima mulierum, motet for 5 voices, S. 10/4 by Jacques Arcadelt
Conductor:  Meinolf Brüser
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1530-1531 
Date of Recording: 03/16/2010 
Venue:  Basilika Knechtsteden 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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