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Music for the Court of Maximilian II / Cinquecento

Album Summary

>Vaet, Jacobus : Videns Dominu, for 5-part chorus
>Galli, Antonius : Missa Ascendetis post filium, for 6-part chorus
>Vaet, Jacobus : Conditor alme siderum, for chorus
>Vaet, Jacobus : O Quam Gloriosum
>Maessens, Pieter : Discessu, for 6-part chorus
>Vaet, Jacobus : Ascendetis post filium, for 6-part chorus
>Lassus, Orlando de : Pacis amans, motet for 6 voices, M. xviii (S. xi/125)
>Vaet, Jacobus : Continuo lachrimas
Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The court of Maximilian II-Holy Roman Emperor and undisputed King of much of Europe-offered an unparalleled opportunity for artistic and musical development: ideas and influences could be widely exchanged in a context of amicable rivalry. Lassus, perhaps the only composer represented on this disc whose name remains familiar to this day, was employed far away from Maximilian's power base, but his monumental skills were supplied-on secondment, as it were, from Bavaria-to provide the motet Pacis amans in celebration of Maximilian's crowning as King of Bohemia. What this fascinating program reveals is how music by Lassus' lesser-known contemporaries can stand direct comparison with that of the illustrious master. Opening with Jacobus Vaet's wondrous depiction of the raising of Lazarus, Videns Dominus, the inspirational singing presented here takes us on an exhilarating tour of Maximilian's bejeweled royal chambers, an environment every bit as opulent and artistically ambitious as that of contemporary Tudor England. Music for the court of Maximilian II is the debut recording by the thrilling all-male ensemble Cinquecento. Based in Vienna, its six members represent five countries, bringing together and, we believe, truly 'fusing' the very best of their respective choral traditions. The results, gloriously captured on tape in the Austrian Dominikanerkirche of Retz, offer an exhilarating new outlook on this rich seam of repertoire as yet largely untapped. Future projects are eagerly awaited, and will include a pioneering survey of music by Jacobus Regnart.

'Continuo lacrimas, Vaet's gracious lament on the death of the composer Clemens non Papa, is a small masterpiece both in technique and emotional resonance ... Cinquecento is an all-male vocal ensemble with members drawn from five European countries ... The voices are young, lithe, pure in intonation and warm in timbre - in short, ideal for interpreting Renaissance polyphony. Their phrasing is supple, mellifluous and understated, while always alert to the musical rhetoric ... No lover of Renaissance polyphony should overlook this outstanding début recording' (International Record Review)

'This revelatory disc, beguilingly sung, includes Galli's exquisite Missa Ascendetis post filium' (Classic FM Magazine)

'From this showing, Cinquecento would be well placed to advocate Vaet further. An all-male a cappella ensemble, they sound clear and bright, and articulate the music lucidly' (Gramophone)

'[Vaet] The fine motets recorded here suggest that his skill in achieving the closest possible union between text and music was comparable with that of Lassus. This is especially obvious in the darkly sonorous Videns Dominus, which tells the story of the raising of Lazarus, with its slow sustained evocation of Jesus's grief, and the climactic rising and falling scale figures symbolising the opening of the tomb. Ascendetis post filium provides the basis for an attractive Mass by his colleague Antonius Galli, which also contains many Lassus-like touches, including sudden brief bursts of triple time and the reiteration of quirky little rhythmic figures ... Cinquecento's six male voices produce a rich and expressive sound ... this is a very promising debut disc' (Daily Telegraph)

'Such a collection of rarities would be commendable even if the performances were not so fine. Cinquecento makes this a triumphant debut recording, indicating that we can look forward to more Renaissance polyphony of similar interest. The six male voices, based in Vienna but coming from five countries, display a fine ensemble, doubtless a necessary result of working together without a leader. The Mass by Galli is worth the price of the disc, a fine work of the period and the sort of thing that was just waiting to be revived. Give this disc a hearing and be prepared for a revelation' (Fanfare, USA)

'A jaw-droppingly beautiful collection of a capella choral works by Jacobus Vaet, Antonius Galli, Pieter Maessens and Orlando Lassus performed by the male six-voice ensemble Cinquecento. All were written for the 16th-century Hapsburg court, and they run the gamut from Vaet's sweetly straightforward antiphon "O Quam Gloriosum" to Galli's brilliant parody mass on "Ascendit Post Filium." Cinquecento's sound is creamy and sweet, and the music is exceptionally fine. Highly recommended' (CD Hotlist, USA)

'Pour servir cette 'Musique à la cour de Maximilien II de Bohême', oncle de Charles Quint, le chant de l'ensemble Cinquecento est séduisant. La qualité des tutti, l'accord homogêne (et légèrement réverbéré)entre l'agilité des pupitres aigus et l'ampleur des basses font sonner les nombreuses trouvailles harmoniques qui parsèment ces oeuvres méconnues... La chapelle de Maximilien II regroupait surtout des compositeurs flamands de la génération de Nicolas Gombert, c'est-à-dire inspirée par un flux musical continu. Des aspérités harmoniques viennent rehausser des textures denses sous la forme de fausses relations que Cinquecento fait sonner avec beaucoup d'adresse (surtout dans le beau motet de déploration Continuo lacrimas' (Le monde de la musique, France)

'This is Cinquecento's debut recording, an all-male ensemble which promises to rival the best of their kind in the choral scene. Indeed these are thrilling, exhilarating performances which should go a long way towards establishing this repertoire on a sounder footing. Worth buying, if only for Vaet's masterly motets' (Classical.net)

'[Missa Ascendentis post filium] is a slow and 'deliberate' work. Listen to the mournful 'Kyrie' with some of the qualities of a dream, moving slowly and barely making an impact on the world, on which it yet so totally relies. That, convincingly, is how Cinquecento present it. No fuss, no undue emphasis on its heights and depths. Yet it's all the more impressive for their holding back as they feel their way through the music. Their performance - listen to the Gloria - has a particularly effective mix of majesty, magnificence and intimacy. Pretty much how you would expect and have wanted a contemporary performance to have sounded. This Mass is perhaps the high-point of this disc; the Credo, for instance, is a movement of ethereal beauty, intensely personal and low key but with a conviction - given the parallel dedication and careful drive of Cinquecento - that lends this highly colored work such power and feeling' (Classical.net USA)



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Works Details

>Vaet, Jacobus : Videns Dominu, for 5-part chorus
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Galli, Antonius : Missa Ascendetis post filium, for 6-part chorus
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Vaet, Jacobus : Conditor alme siderum, for chorus
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Vaet, Jacobus : O Quam Gloriosum
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Maessens, Pieter : Discessu, for 6-part chorus
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Vaet, Jacobus : Ascendetis post filium, for 6-part chorus
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Lassus, Orlando de : Pacis amans, motet for 6 voices, M. xviii (S. xi/125)
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Vaet, Jacobus : Continuo lachrimas
  • Notes: Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria (06/17/2006-06/19/2006)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance