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40 Voices / Paul Van Nevel, Huelgas Ensemble

Album Summary

>Ceuleers, Willem : Nomen mortis infame, for 35 voices
>Comes, Joan Baptista : Gloria, for 12 voices
>Desprez, Josquin : Qui habitat in adiutorio Altissimi, motet for 4 parts
>Wylkynson, Robert : Jesus autem transiens / Credo in Deum
>Striggio, Alessandro : Ecce beatam lucem
>Mouton, Jean : En venant de Lyon, chanson for 4 voices
>Rebelo, Joao Lourenco : Lauda Jerusalem, for 16 voices
>Gabrieli, Giovanni : Exaudi me Domine, motet for 16 voices
>Tallis, Thomas : Spem in alium
Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

"If you love Tallis' 40-voice motet Spem in alium, or any of the more refulgent polychoral works of Gabrieli (represented here by the 16-voice Exaudi me Domine), then you'll love this disc. It contains works composed for anywhere from 12 (Comes' Gloria) to that fabled number of 40 voices, including Alessandro Striggio Sr's Ecce beatam lucem, the piece that took 16th-century England by storm and inspired Tallis to write his subsequent masterpiece of one-upmanship. The performances of these two musical behemoths (relatively speaking) are splendidly sonorous and flowing. In the Tallis, Van Nevel largely avoids the big contrasts of dynamics and texture that characterize the more dramatic approach of, say, the Tallis Scholars, stressing instead the music's sense of line and flow. It's an equally valid approach, particularly as well realized as it is here.

Still, for my money, the outstanding items on the disc are Josquin's Qui habatit (24 voices) and João Lourenço Rebelo's Lauda Jerusalem (16 voices). The former is a marvel of intricate canonic interplay that Van Nevel ensures that you can actually hear; it's as close as you can come to a genuine "sound sculpture", a musical object that seems to rotate in space before your very eyes (or ears). Rebelo's motet is just plain gorgeous, harmonically, and unlike much polychoral music it doesn't sound like endless permutations on just a couple of chords and arpeggios. Leading off the program is a contemporary work, Nomen mortis infame (35 voices), by Huelgas-Ensemble member Willem Ceuleers. The music wears its modernity lightly, fitting in perfectly with the pieces that follow while retaining a character of its own this is a truly marvelous program that no choral music enthusiast can afford to miss." -Classics Today

Gramophone Magazine
This live recording testifies to their astonishing dynamism, energy and coherence.

bbc.co.uk - Andrew McGregor
As the many polyphonic strands surround you - and here they do surround you, thanks to this hybrid SACD - you'd have to have a cold heart not to be caught up in the performances. The ingenuity of the composers is extraordinary



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Works Details

>Ceuleers, Willem : Nomen mortis infame, for 35 voices
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 12 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Comes, Joan Baptista : Gloria, for 12 voices
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 5 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Desprez, Josquin : Qui habitat in adiutorio Altissimi, motet for 4 parts
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 5 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Wylkynson, Robert : Jesus autem transiens / Credo in Deum
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 3 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Striggio, Alessandro : Ecce beatam lucem
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 8 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Mouton, Jean : En venant de Lyon, chanson for 4 voices
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 2 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Rebelo, Joao Lourenco : Lauda Jerusalem, for 16 voices
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 9 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Gabrieli, Giovanni : Exaudi me Domine, motet for 16 voices
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 5 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Tallis, Thomas : Spem in alium
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Running Time: 10 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: circa 1567
  • Studio/Live: Live