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Philips: Cantiones Sacrae Octonis Vocibus

Philips / Royal Holloway Choir / Gough
Release Date: 03/12/2013 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67945   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Peter PhilipsPeter PhillipsAnonymous
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut EnsembleRoyal Holloway Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PHILIPS Cantiones Sacrae Octonis Vocibus: Selections Rupert Gough (org, cond); Royal Holloway Ch; English Cornett and Sackbut Ens HYPERION 67945 (71:59 Text and Translation)


Peter Philips (1560/61-1628) was a recusant Englishman who spent his adult life abroad. He was reared by Sebastian Westcote, the organist of St. Paul’s cathedral, but on the death of Westcote (the same year St. Edmund Campion was hanged, drawn, and quartered for being a Read more Jesuit) he went to Rome about the age of 21, later settling in the Low Countries. His sacred music sounds Flemish, but his early keyboard music is English in style. Of several books of sacred music, two volumes of Cantiones Sacrae were published, a set for five voices in 1612 and a set for eight voices in 1613. The former is more familiar on records with three collections by Peter Walls ( Fanfare 25:5), Andrew Mackay (25:4), and Richard Marlow (34:2). The second book is represented by a few pieces in three mixed collections by Erik Van Nevel (13:6), David Hill (17:2), and Mackay again (20:12). This disc seems to offer the largest collection of these works recorded so far.


Gough has 15 motets of the 30 in the set. Only six of these are duplicated in the three mixed collections, but those programs have seven more motets not included here. The texts that Philips set come from the Mass, Office, and Psalms, mostly familiar except for an antiphon for St. Vincent Ferrer and an anonymous prayer to St. Cecilia. Gough plays a Veni Sancte Spiritus on the organ. The use of instruments in these works varies among the interpreters; only Hill matches Gough by using the Parley of Instruments, while Van Nevel uses organ and Mackay uses only voices (he does use organ in his other disc of five-voice motets). This 1613 volume was reprinted in 1625 with basso continuo added (another collection of his music, Gemmulae sacrae , had already appeared in 1613 with basso continuo). For these double-choir motets, Philips generally did not follow the Venetian practice of giving different ranges to the two choirs, for only Caecilia virgo has higher voices in one choir and lower voices in the other. Gough takes a varied approach to the parts; one motet has six voices and two instruments, another has two voices and six instruments. Still another gives the triple-time sections to instruments. Gough provides a comment on each selection, a useful way to focus the listener’s attention on subtleties of interpretation. It is clear from this that another recording could offer an equally valid but different approach to the music. But in that case, let’s include the unrecorded pieces, too.


Though this is not their first recording, it is my first exposure to the choir of Royal Holloway College, University of London, where Gough has been director since 2005. The quality of choral singing matches the high standard of the many similar ensembles on this label, and the instruments blend well. This could be regarded as a belated observance of the composer’s 350th anniversary (not that I was aware of any attention paid to the date). Without doubt it is an important addition to the discography of one who was called “one of the greatest masters of Musicke in Europe” by an English commentator in 1622, mentioned there along with Monteverdi and other leading composers. This disc will be an important addition to any music of Philips that you already possess. Emphatically recommended.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Veni Sancte Spiritus by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
2.
Cantiones sacrae: Salve regina, vita dulcedo by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Brussels, Belgium 
3.
Cantiones sacrae: Regina caeli laetare by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Brussels, Belgium 
4.
Cantiones sacrae: O quam suavis est, Dominus by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Brussels, Belgium 
5.
Cantiones sacrae: Hodie nobis de caelo by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Brussels, Belgium 
6.
Cantiones sacrae: Ecce panis angelorum by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Brussels, Belgium 
7.
Cantiones sacrae: Beata Dei genitrix Maria by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Brussels, Belgium 
8.
Cantiones sacrae, pro praecipuis festis totius anni et communi sanctorum: Alma redemptoris mater by Peter Philips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1612; Brussels, Belgium 
9.
Benedictus Deus noster by Peter Phillips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
10.
Caecilia virgo by Peter Phillips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
11.
Veni sancte spiritus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
Period: Medieval 
12.
Beati estis by Peter Phillips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
13.
Cantiones sacrae: Gaudens gaudebo by Peter Phillips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
14.
Cantiones sacrae: Benedictus Dominus by Peter Phillips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
15.
Cantiones sacrae: Panis sancte, panis vive by Peter Phillips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir
16.
Cantiones sacrae: Jubilate Deo omnis terra by Peter Phillips
Conductor:  Rupert Gough
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble,  Royal Holloway Choir

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