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Morales: Magnificat, Motets & Lamentations / Stephen Rice, Brabant Ensemble


Release Date: 09/09/2008 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67694   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Although the CD catalog doesn't reflect Cristóbal de Morales' deserving position among the greatest Renaissance composers--only a handful of discs are devoted to his music--this first-rate recording makes an important contribution not only for its exceptional performances, but in its thoughtful programming. The 15 voices of The Brabant Ensemble are effectively used in these 10 works that vary from four to six parts, and the ambience of Oxford's Merton College Chapel proves an ideal setting. Equally compelling is Stephen Rice's choice of repertoire, which offers a fair representation of Morales' style and output (excluding his Masses) while filling gaps in the catalog with several superb works
Read more that are rarely if ever recorded, including the six-voice Regina caeli laetare, Spem in alium, and the Magnificat primi toni.

There are numerous stylistic characteristics of Morales' music, but some of his more affecting and memorable works are notable for expansive swaths of polyphony where cadences are delayed for pages while lovely strands of melody emerge and disappear into the texture only to resurface in another voice-part. Indeed this--and in his sometimes startling use of dissonances--is where he is most closely compared to his contemporary Nicolas Gombert and can best be enjoyed here in the gorgeous setting of Spem in alium, a masterpiece that deserves wider attention (notice the marvelous false-relation at the end!). Other highlights include the vibrant Regina caeli (another piece that demands immediate replay!) and the Magnificat, with its truly magnificent ending, a perfect conclusion to a first-class program. Essential.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Lamentations for Good Friday: Vocavi amicos meos by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 8 Minutes 1 Secs. 
2. Candidiores Nazarei ejus nive by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
Length: 7 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3. Vigilavit jugum iniquitatum mearum by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
Length: 9 Minutes 12 Secs. 
4. Gaude et laetare ferrariensis civitas by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1549; Spain 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
5. Sancta Maria, succurre miseris by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1543; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
6. Salve regina by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
Length: 8 Minutes 22 Secs. 
7. Regina caeli, laetare by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
8. Spem in alium nunquam habui by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1541 
Length: 7 Minutes 19 Secs. 
9. Beati omnes by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1553 
Length: 6 Minutes 33 Secs. 
10. Magnificat primi toni by Cristóbal de Morales
Conductor:  Stephen Rice
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brabant Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1542 
Length: 11 Minutes 8 Secs. 

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