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Palestrina, Vol. 3 / The Sixteen

Palestrina / Sixteen / Christophers
Release Date: 02/12/2013 
Label:  Coro   Catalog #: 16106   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PALESTRINA Missa Regina caeli à 5. Stabat Mater. Ad caenam agni. Songs of Songs: excerpts. Regina caeli à 8. Improperium exspectavi. Confitebor tibi. Terra tremuit Harry Christophers, cond; The Sixteen CORO 16106 (70:30 Text and Translation)


The third of the Palestrina Masses to be recorded in this series, this is the first recording of a Mass published in 1600. A similarly titled Mass for four voices, Read more based on the same chant antiphon and published in 1601 (not 1554, as the notes have it), was once recorded by Johannes Somary. Here it climaxes a group of works for Eastertide that includes the double-choir Stabat Mater , one of the composer’s finest motets (here furnished with a more extensive note than most recordings of the work have enjoyed), a work that was sung exclusively by the Sistine Choir during Holy Week; the hymn Ad caenam agni for Sundays after Easter, set here in alternatim style; one of his two eight-voice Marian antiphons for Easter, Regina caeli , not related musically to the Mass sung here; and three offertories for Sundays in Eastertide from the wonderful collection of offertories for the entire year published in 1593. Also included are three motets from Canticum Canticorum , continuing the series of motets that Christophers includes on each disc of this new series. This Regina caeli does not turn up in a cursory search of my collection, but the Stabat Mater is found on numerous discs.


The Mass is of such exquisite perfection (a phrase that could be used for so many of the composer’s Masses) that its neglect on records is hard to understand. Even at this late date, we still have only 70 or so of the 105 published Masses. The choir is SATTB, and the familiar antiphon melody occurs frequently, notably as the opening notes heard at the beginning of the Kyrie, Credo, and Sanctus. The second Agnus Dei is supplied in chant from Mass VIII, and the third invocation is set for SAATTB.


The note by Martyn Imrie begins with a discussion of the basilicas of Rome, including a passing reference to the restoration of the Sistine Chapel; as we saw in the Sistine Chapel program under Collections, it was not restored but rather built in 1475-82 to replace an earlier chapel. He wryly points out that the Sistine Chapel today sees a daily stream of tourists who pay admission in place of its true purpose as the site of daily liturgical ceremonies, which were attended by a congregation, not just the choir and clergy. I eagerly await the next disc in this series, which should become a valuable survey of Palestrina’s sacred music.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Stabat Mater a 8 by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 8 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2.
Ad coenam Agni providi by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1589 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3.
Vineam meam non custodivi by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1584; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Si ignoras te, o pulchra by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1584; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5.
Pulchrae sunt genae tuae by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1584; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
6.
Regina coeli, motet for 8 voices (H vi 165) by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
7.
Improperium by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 3 Minutes 47 Secs. 
8.
Confitebor tibi by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1585; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
9.
Terra tremuit by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1593; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
10.
Missa "Regina coeli" a 4 by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Date of Recording: 10/2012 
Venue:  Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 

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