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Roland De Lassus: Biographie Musicale, Vol.2

De Lassus / Singer Pur
Release Date: 02/12/2013 
Label:  Musique En Wallonie   Catalog #: 1268   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LASSUS 18 Vocal Works Singer Pur MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE 1268 (57: 14 Text and Translation)


The first album in this series was reviewed by J. F. Weber just this past year (MEW 1158; Fanfare 35:6). Unusually, it focused on Lassus’s age at time of composition—all published by the time he had turned 25—rather than theme, or genre. This disc takes up where the other left off, around the composer’s 25th year, and continues forward Read more for another 12. During this time he was hired in the unspectacular role of tenor secundus for Duke Albrecht V’s Bavarian court chapel. His ascendency was quick by any standards, becoming maestro di cappella a scant seven years later.


The collection is broad, and as Weber noted, less a musical biography as the liner notes state than a sampling of Lassus’s huge, varied, and excellent oeuvre. Thus we get the Gloria from the early Missa on me l’a dict , a charmingly bright piece based on a Certon chanson published in 1539, and a risible yet winsome chanson, Vous qui aimez les dames , that alternates French and Latin lines. Several other French chansons and Italian madrigals and motets follow, published by firms in Antwerp, Munich, Nuremberg, and Paris. The liner notes suggest that the parody of the beautiful Marian hymn Verbum bonum, Ave color vini clari , must have been intended for one of Albrecht’s celebrated, over-the-top banquets; whether true or not, it is both fun, and well constructed. We get a six-voice Magnificat and the soufflé-light four-voice chanson it’s based on, and a series of sacred and secular Lied published in 1567. Of three secular motets published in his 1569 collection, Cantiones aliquot quinque vocum, Res neque ab infernis is an affecting work in the Phrygian mode, based on a neo-Platonist text that describes love as created by the will of the gods. Sidus ex claro veniens Olympo celebrates Christ’s birth in moving terms, and Edite Cæsareo Boiorum praises Albrecht, while weaving imitative points and worshipful homophonic textures.


The performing group of that first release in the series was Bruno Boterf’s Ludus Modalis, and Weber was strongly impressed. This release features Singer Pur, instead. The core of six singers—soprano, baritone, bass, and three tenors—is augmented by one soprano and bass, and by guitar in one selection: an Italian villotta by Filippo Azzaiolo. They are deft in handling the range of styles, genres, and languages reflected in these selections. Imitative and canonic textures are always clear, all voices balanced to bring out salient lines without drowning subsidiary ones. Chordal blends are refined, and sleek. Fair warning: They are inexpressive in all this music, so don’t hope for something along the lines of Le Poème Harmonique or Les Voix Baroques, emoting when appropriate. That said, there is much pleasure to be had in these performances. Recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Missa "On me l’a dict": Gloria by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
2.
Vous qui aymes les dames by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
3.
Si vous n'estes en bon poinct by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
4.
Un doulx nenny by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
5.
Quanta invidia ti porto avara terra by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
6.
Se si alto pon gir mie stanche rime by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
7.
O mors quam amara by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1564; Munich, Germany 
8.
Surge, propera amica mea by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1566; Munich, Germany 
9.
Ave color vini clari by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
10.
Chi passa per sta strad'a e non sospira by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
11.
Magnificat "Tant vous alles doulx" by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
12.
Magnificat "Tant vous alles doulx" by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
13.
Vatter unser by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
14.
Im Lant zu Wirtenberg by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
Period: Renaissance 
15.
Frölich zu sein ist mein manier by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
16.
Res neque ab infernis by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
17.
Sidus ex claro veniens Olympo by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
18.
Edite Caesareo Boiorum by Orlando de Lassus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singer Pur
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1568; Munich, Germany 

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