Notes & Reviews:
This 4th volume in the series covers the last period of Lassus's prodigious activity, choirmaster of Albert V Duke of Bavaria. It begins with Albert's death in 1579 and thus the crowning of his son William, and ends with the composer's death in 1594. Old age and disease have barely interrupted a long list of masterpieces. This collection is completed by the motet Musica Dei donum optimi (an exception made to the principle of CD-unreleased works of this biography) published the year of Lassus's death, a splendid tribute to the music that governed with such power and variety the whole existence of this great name of the Renaissance.
American Record Guide, March/April 2015
This release, with music from Lassus's last years, follows the earlier biographical recording with music from the 1570s (Nov/Dec 2014). While the ensemble on the earlier volume was the small Egidius Quartet, this collection, which includes many motets and the complete Dixit Joseph Mass, was recorded by Odhecaton, a 14-voice all male choir, with a single soprano added in a few of the larger works. As with the earlier volume, in addition to the sacred compositions, there is a fair representation of Lassus's secular music in Italian, French, and German; and the recording begins with an encomium to the composer's patron, Duke William V. What is remarkable is the penitential tone of both the sacred and secular texts. The booklet includes excellent notes and full texts and translations (again, in a very small font). Taken together, the four volumes of this series effectively cover Lassus's whole life and the rich variety of musical styles and genres in his compositions. This final volume appropriately ends with Lassus's own encomium to music, 'Musica Dei donum optimi'.
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Gesualdo: Tenebrae, Responses for Good Friday / Taverner Consort & Choir, Parrott
Schubert: 'Fantasie' - Late Piano Works / David Fray, piano
English Hymn Anthems: Works by Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Parry, Dyson et al. / Choir of King's College, Cambridge; Stephen Cleobury
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" / Ailish Tynan, soprano; Catherine Wyn-Rogers, mz.; Royal Liverpool PO; Gerard Schwarz
Licorice Rhapsody: Works for 12 Clarinets, by Gershwin, Bernstein, Gene Pritsker et al. / NY Licorice Ensemble
La Clarinette Francaise: Works of Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Bloch, Pierné & Milhaud / Lisa Shklyaver, clarinet; Jos Van Immerseel, piano
Franz Schubert: Hungarian Melody, D 817; Sonata D 894; Moments musicaux D 780; Alegretto D 915; Impromptus D 935; Sonata D 960 / Andras Schiff, fortepiano
Atonement: Chamber Works of Jennifer Higdon, Kieren MacMillan, Evan Chambers & Kenji Bunch / Lindsay Kesselman, soprano; Kimberly Luevano, clarinet; Midori Koga, piano
Arvo Pärt: Te Deum / Bavarian Radio Choir; Munich RSO; Dijkstra