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Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

Byrd / Magnificat / Cave
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 417   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert ParsonsRobert WhiteWilliam Byrd
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BYRD Christe qui lux es. Domine quis habitabit. Quomodo cantabimus. Cogitavit. WHITE Lamentations à 5. Christe qui lux es. PARSONS Ave Maria. Domine quis habitabit Philip Cave, cond; Magnificat LINN 417 (SACD: 75:31 Text and Translation)


Before Philip Cave gave us two discs of Philippe Rogier ( Read more style="font-style:italic">Fanfare 24:1 and 34:6; a third disc has not been sent for review), he made a disc of Robert Ramsey (19:1), expanding the composer’s discography from two works to 17. Now he returns to the Tudor era, and this time the rare entries belong to the equally obscure Robert Parsons (c. 1535-72), known exclusively until recent years for the Ave Maria included here, the only piece that then existed in a modern edition. The breakthrough for Parsons came in 11 works on Barnaby White’s full disc (31:6), followed by another 11 works (six of them new to disc) on Andrew Carwood’s full disc a year ago, even if not as startling a revelation as Cave’s effort on behalf of Ramsey.


For two anthems and the lamentations (the last using different texts), Cave couples the settings of different composers. This group records less often than similar Oxbridge vocal ensembles, but what I’ve heard is uniformly excellent (Cave himself has sung with such groups as the Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, and The Cardinall’s Musick). The program was put together by Sally Dunkley, a longtime member of Oxbridge vocal ensembles beginning with the pioneering Clerkes of Oxenford under David Wulstan; she sang with them (12:1) in both of these Robert White works (the anthem then a first recording), as she does again here. Her notes are detailed and informative.


Byrd is given half of the disc. His reply, Quomodo cantabimus , to Philippe de Monte’s offering of the first part of the psalm Super flumina Babylonis is recorded here, even as we were just hearing the fourth coupling of both works (36:4), the ideal way to present these two motets. The lamentation Cogitavit corresponds to White’s Lamentations , which do not use the precise choice of verses found in modern liturgical books (the modern liturgical lamentations include altogether only half of the Biblical text). Byrd’s Cogitavit is in the first volume of Andrew Carwood’s Byrd Edition (21:4), a disc of his early church music. The 18 mixed voices of this ensemble are as responsive as a smaller group while furnishing a warmly blended sound. As an alternative to competing versions sung one voice to a part, the works heard on this generous program are recommended.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Domine Quis Habitabit by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
2.
Ave Maria by Robert Parsons
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1560s; England 
3.
Christe qui lux es IV by Robert White
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
4.
De Lamentationes Hieremiae by William Byrd
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Period: Renaissance 
5.
Christe, qui lux es et dies/Precamur by William Byrd
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
6.
Quomodo cantabimus? by William Byrd
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
7.
Lamentations of Jeremiah a 5 by Robert White
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
8.
Domine, quis habitabit by William Byrd
Conductor:  Philip Cave
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1610; England 

Sound Samples

Christe, qui lux es ... praedicans
Lamentations (for 5 voices): Lamentations a 5
Ave Maria
Domine, quis habitabit: (Byrd)
Domine, quis habitabit: (Parsons)
Quomodo cantabimus?
Lamentations
Christe qui lux es IV

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