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Gombert: Tribulatio et angustia / Rice, Brabant Ensemble

Album Summary

>Gombert, Nicolas : Tribulatio et angustia, motet for 5 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Hortus conclusus es, motet for 5 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Aspice Domine quia facta est, motet for 4 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Virgo sancta Katherina, motet for 4 voices
>Chant, Gregorian : Inviolata, integra, et casta es, Maria, Marian sequence
>Gombert, Nicolas : Inviolata, integra, et casta es, Maria, motet for 5 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Ne reminiscaris, Domine, motet for 5 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Pater Noster, motet for 5 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Ave Maria, motet for 5 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Ergone vitae, motet for 4 voices
>Gombert, Nicolas : Ave sanctissima Maria, motet for 5 voices
Composers

Notes & Reviews:

With its third release for Hyperion, The Barbant Ensemble led by eminent musicologist Stephen Rice continues to unearth buried treasures of sixteenth-century choral repertoire that until now have languished unnoticed. The choir's natural and instinctive performing style underlines the essential vocal quality of these beautiful and complex motets by Nicolas Gombert.

'It's one of very few discs of this repertoire I've been happy to play in its entirety, and then several times since. This is in part a tribute to Gombert ... but also to The Brabant Ensemble and Stephen Rice ... by encouraging an unusually individual and carefully balanced vocal response, he avoids the pitfalls of relentless consistency and arid elision ... there is a welcome and (in this music) novel belief in the power of voices as voices ... try the sopranos halfway through Hortus conclusus es for erotic Mariolatry at its most disconcertingly sensual. Arise, make haste, as they sing, and hear this music' (Gramophone)

'... The sheer quality of his music. These 10 motets are notable for their richly glowing sonorities, their disciplined counterpoints, their intensity of expression and, most of all, their careful tailoring of music to text. There's the darkly erotic intensity of Hortus conclusus es, the angst-ridden, pentitential Tribulatio et angustia ... The singing is meticulously balanced and blended, Stephen Rice shaping and pacing each work with exquisite judgement' (Sunday Times)

'The Brabant Ensemble's exploration of the "forgotten generation" of composers between Josquin and Palestrina is reviving an abundance of unwarrantedly neglected sacred polyphony. Judging by this splendid selection of motets, Gombert's neglect is particularly flagrant. In penitential pieces, such as Aspice Domine and Tribulatio et angustia, his lavish use of dissonance within a smooth-flowing yet intricately imitative style creates an atmosphere of almost unbearably intense and bitter anguish, whether contemplating a city laid waste or beseeching rescue from a foetid quagmire ... These shapely and well-paced performances do full justice to Gombert's outstanding talent' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This is impressively accomplished ensemble singing ... Rice's own booklet notes provide fascinating insights into the music ... It is this intelligent approach to the spirit of the text (there is a glorious moment in Hortus consclusus es when the soprano soars ethereally to the line 'arise, make haste my beloved'), coupled with outstanding tuning and balancing, which makes this such a distinguished group. The Brabant Ensemble are quickly establishing themselves as one of the more impressive English groups specializing in Renaissance msuci, and this, their fourth CD release, only increases their stature' (International Record Review)

'This attractive recording provised an excellent opportunity to wallow in his motets ... The music is austere but beautiful, with plenty of anguished dissonances and false relations ... The music is well-sung ... The performers are evidently passionate about 16th-century Flemish music' (Early Music Review)

'Les moments à couper le souffle ne manquent pas dans la dernière réalisation du Brabant Ensemble. Les amateurs de polyphone de la Renaissance se réjouiront de voir apparaître des joyuax tels que Hortus conclusus, auz invraisemblables chaînes de dissonances, ou une version du Inviolata qui, pour évoquer lointainement un modèle de Josquin, ne se situe pas moins dans un registre d'élégiaque mélancolie où Gombert surpasse tous ses contemporains' (Le Monde de la Musique)

' ... Virtually all of these works project an awe-inducing majesty and solemnity, unfolding over many minutes of nearly cadence-free waves of rich-textured polyphony. Pungent dissonances play an integral role in the overall structure, as do repeated-note fragments and brief melodic segments whose impact can be quite striking, especially when introduced in the treble register and then passed through the other voices. It would be impossible to name a highlight--the magnificent Tribulatio et angustia; the grand Aspice Domine; the profoundly moving Pater noster and Ave Maria--because all of these works and performances are exemplary, both as unique creations and as stylistically informed, modern realizations of some of the greatest, yet-to-be-fully-appreciated music of the 16th century. The 14-voice Brabant Ensemble, whose vibrant, perfectly-tuned sound often gives the impression of a larger group, knows the importance of phrasing, breath control, and long-lined dynamic modulation, all of which are essential to really fire up and fully illuminate these scores. The sound, from what proves to be the ideal acoustics of the chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, is perfectly balanced to allow us to hear each vocal line clearly while enabling the ensemble to properly resonate. This is a recording that demands and rewards multiple hearings ... Absolutely essential listening!' (ClassicsToday.com, USA)

'Aspice Domine, Ne reminiscaris, Domine and Tribulatio et angustia mine a rich seam of angst, and receive searing performances here ... the singing is brightly supported, the texture crystalline' (Early Music)

'This music is stunning, and the performance here is clear and bright, with perfect balance across the voice parts and the sustained lines. Highly recommended' (GScene)



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Works Details

>Gombert, Nicolas : Tribulatio et angustia, motet for 5 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1539

>Gombert, Nicolas : Hortus conclusus es, motet for 5 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1541

>Gombert, Nicolas : Aspice Domine quia facta est, motet for 4 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1538

>Gombert, Nicolas : Virgo sancta Katherina, motet for 4 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1534

>Chant, Gregorian : Inviolata, integra, et casta es, Maria, Marian sequence
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: 1000-1000

>Gombert, Nicolas : Inviolata, integra, et casta es, Maria, motet for 5 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1541

>Gombert, Nicolas : Ne reminiscaris, Domine, motet for 5 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1541

>Gombert, Nicolas : Pater Noster, motet for 5 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1539

>Gombert, Nicolas : Ave Maria, motet for 5 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1539

>Gombert, Nicolas : Ergone vitae, motet for 4 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1541

>Gombert, Nicolas : Ave sanctissima Maria, motet for 5 voices
  • Notes: Chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford, England (09/01/2006-09/03/2006)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1539