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Music for Charles V - Holy Roman Emperor

Music for Charles V - Holy Roman Emperor
ID: SIGCD019
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: Choral CollectionSubkolektion: Choir

Signum Records is delighted to present Chapelle du Roi’s eleventh release with the label. This recording offers a selection of music spanning the life and reign of Charles V, undoubtedly the most powerful man in 16th-century Europe, from his early teenage years to his death in 1558.

Charles was a devout Catholic, and maintained a chapel employing some of the most notable composers of the period, including Nicolas Gombert and Thomas Crecquillon, who Charles referred to as ‘the truest Opheus of the age’. Closely identified with the Order of the Golden Fleece, which gave rise to the L’homme armé tradition, Charles V was said to have a musical ear. A great deal of music survives that is associated directly with him and his patronage - a selection of which is presented on this recording.

The music composed for rulers frequently mixed the heavenly with the secular, and a great many pieces were written to celebrate political conquests and occasions within the court. For example, Cristóbal Morales possibly wrote his Missa L'homme armé as an offering for Charles’s wedding to Isabella of Portugal.

Near the end of Charles’s reign, the young composer Orlandus Lassus was just starting his career, and seeking preferment. He offered his secular motet, Heroum Soboles to Charles in the hope that he would join the prestigious Capilla Flamenca. He was unsuccessful, however Charles’s minister, Bishop Granvelle of Arras helped Lassus to secure his position at the court of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria - a musical establishment that was no less magnificent.

The last years of Charles life were troubled by his failure to convert the Protestants back into the Roman Catholic Church, and to lead a universal Catholic empire. His death resounded throughout the Empire, and Don Fernando de las Infantas marked his passing with a setting of Parce Mihi Domine, the best-known of the texts from Matins pro defunctis.
18.00 eur Buy

Thomas Tallis: The Complete Works - Volume 6 - Music for a Reformed Church

Thomas Tallis: The Complete Works - Volume 6 - Music for a Reformed Church
ID: SIGCD022
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: Choral CollectionSubkolektion: Choir

Chapelle du Roi devote this latest volume to music which was composed by Tallis for use during the reformed services announced in The booke of the common prayer which came into effect on Whitsunday (9th June) 1549. Tallis’s music, together with the associated intonations and Collects (for Easter Day at Mattins and for Christmas Eve), is presented for this recording in the normal liturgical sequence for the day; Mattins, Holy Communion, and Evensong. The recording concludes with Tallis’ nine psalm-tune harmonisations which he contributed to Archbishop Matthew Parker’s Psalter, published in 1567.

Chapelle du Roi give an inspired and historically informed performance of the sacred renaissance repertoire for which they are celebrated.
18.00 eur Buy

Guillaume Dufay: Sacred music from the Bologna Q15 manuscript

Guillaume Dufay: Sacred music from the Bologna Q15 manuscript
ID: SIGCD023
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: Sacred Music

This is the third disc recorded by The Clerks' Group for their Signum Records trilogy. The series explores repertoire in the medieval period and culminates with a selection of works by Guillaume Dufay, found in one of the great anthologies of 15th century music: the manuscript Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, MS Q15 (or "Q15" as it is known by its friends).

The Q15 manuscript contains examples of almost every conceivable musical genre of the period by a vast array of composers. The Clerks' Group has chosen to perform works by a single composer, but still the variety of forms and styles on offer is bewildering. Guillaume Dufay was a composer who witnessed and contributed to most of the revolutionary changes to occur in music composition in the 15th century. The album includes some of the earlier works so often neglected from Dufay's repertoire, and goes on to explore compositions that demonstrate this revolutionary genius. Some compositional techniques celebrated by The Clerks' Group's performance include the playful exchange of Dufay's song-like melodies between the vocal lines; and the use of mensural canon, where the same melody is sung by all voices but at slightly different speeds. These are just a few examples of the radical nature of Dufay's music as demonstrated on this recording.

The Clerks' Group brings immense diversity to the music and its performance. Their refreshing approach displays sincere empathy and passion for this astonishing repertory.
18.00 eur Buy

Master of Musicians: Songs and Instrumental music by Josquin des Pres

Master of Musicians: Songs and Instrumental music by Josquin des Pres
ID: SIGCD025
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Subkolektion: Choir

Songs and Instrumental Music by Josquin des Pres, his pupils and contemporaries.
18.00 eur Buy

Music for Gainsborough - by his contemporaries

Music for Gainsborough - by his contemporaries
ID: SIGCD026
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Subkolektion: Chamber Ensemble

The paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) constitute one of the most poignant and evocative icons of Georgian England; he painted supremely accomplished portraits of a wide social spectrum, and landscapes which capture the verdancy of England prior to the Stygian advance of the Industrial Revolution.

Gainsborough’s own creativity sought expression in music as much as in painting, which was unusual in an age when musical ability was mainly considered the preserve of the ladies.

For this musical tribute to Gainsborough, we have gathered together pieces by several of his friends; Abel, J.C. Bach, Giardini, Linley & Straube.
18.00 eur Buy

Thomas Tallis -The Complete Works - Vol. 7 - Music for Queen Elizabeth

Thomas Tallis -The Complete Works - Vol. 7 - Music for Queen Elizabeth
ID: SIGCD029
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: RenaissanceSubkolektion: Choir

Signum Records are delighted to release the seventh volume of their celebrated nine-disc series, presenting the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585).

Queen Elizabeth’s reign (1558-1603) was a golden age for the arts. England enjoyed a growing cultural exchange with continental Europe. England’s rich, but essentially conservative pre-Reformation heritage was infused with increasing continental influence and innovations.

Elizabeth I was the fourth monarch to sit on the throne in Thomas Tallis’s lifetime. From the outset of her reign Elizabeth allowed considerable freedom of practice and belief. She was firmly in favour of a vernacular liturgy for the general population, although in her own chapels she preferred a more lavish ceremony to music.

Tallis had witnessed the wholesale destruction of much of England’s church music tradition, however the ever adaptable composer met the challenges of a new liturgy, its new styles and genres, with the imaginative force of a man half his age.

The years of Reformation, and Elizabeth’s protestant settlement, freed the Latin-texted tradition of liturgical propriety, allowing composers to reinvigorate the language and harness it to new, expressive and personal ends. This recording presents Tallis’s Elizabethan Latin motets (which number fifteen). The mighty occasional piece, the forty-voice motet Spem in alium, concludes the disc.
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The Sultan and the Phoenix

The Sultan and the Phoenix
ID: SIGCD032
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: BaroqueSubkolektion: Choir

Recording Location: St. Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire

Louis (c.1626-1661), François le Grand (1668-1733) and Armand-Louis (1727-1789) were the three most celebrated members of the distinguished Couperin family of musicians who flourished from the late 16th century until the middle of the 19th, holding a position of esteem parallel to that of the Bachs in Germany.

The Sultan and the Phoenix presents both masterpieces and rare gems from the Couperins and their contemporaries, all delivered with a rare insight by the ensemble charivari agréable. The programme presents an overview of the ensemble use of the viol in its various manifestations and stages of evolution in France. The Couperin dynasty offers a convenient chronological framework within which the viol could be heard in various guises: from a consort setting to a ‘pičces de clavecin en concerts’ configuration; from a six-string bass viol to a five-string hybrid ‘quinton’. Underpinning this programme is the historical practice of adaptation, transcription and arrangement with which French baroque music is replete.

Historical tradition is followed by the arrangement of some pieces by the players. Some involved direct transcription, such as the L. Couperin Pavan for a viol consort or the F. Couperin harpsichord piece for theorbo (in the style of de Visée, see above). Other pieces are left untouched, such as L. Couperin’s Fantaisies and Corrette’s Phénix, as well as the large-scale chamber works of Dornel and Couperin.

Charivari Agréable’s reputation as one of the most original ensembles in the period-instrument scene was recently articulated by the BBC Music Magazine, which noted that the ensemble “has carved something of a niche for itself in imaginative and well thought-out programming”, reasoning that its work is the fruit of both scholarly research and charismatic musicianship, a combination which puts it at the forefront of period-instrument ensembles.

This recording is refreshing and rewarding. Charivari Agréable is a rare combination with a distinct sound and sonority, displaying sincere empathy and love for the repertory they choose to record.
18.00 eur Buy

Thomas Tallis - The Complete Works -Vol. 8 - The Lamentations and Contrafacta

Thomas Tallis - The Complete Works -Vol. 8 - The Lamentations and Contrafacta
ID: SIGCD036
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: RenaissanceSubkolektion: Choir

Signum Records are proud to present the eighth and penultimate volume of Chapelle du Roi’s recording of the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis.

This volume brings together Tallis’s two masterly settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah and English adaptations of several of his best-known Latin motets.

Thomas Tallis was one of many continental and English composers who composed settings of texts from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the opening five verses of which formed part of the office of Matins (or Tenebrae) during Holy Week. Tallis’s two settings could have been performed ritually but in all likelihood they are Elizabethan works intended for use at the private devotions of staunch Catholic sympathisers.

The statutory introduction of the First Book of Common Prayer on Whitsunday, 9th June 1549 precipitated an urgent need for a repertory of service music in the vernacular. One straightforward solution to the predicament was to adapt existing Latin motets to English texts, a genre of composition that has come to be known as a contrafactum. Contrafacta survive of liturgical music by pre-Reformation English composers as well as by several composers whose working life spanned the period of Reformation.

During the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods contrafacta and their models assumed several forms of dual existence, and were performed not only within a liturgical setting but also in a domestic context for recreation or private devotion. Usually there is no textual relationship between the model and the contrafactum. Indeed the finale of this disc, Sing & Glorify heaven’s high majesty, an adaptation of Tallis’s celebrated eight-choir (40-part) motet Spem in alium was adapted to celebrate Prince Henry’s investiture as Prince of Wales in 1610.
18.00 eur Buy

Songs of Angels: Music by Magdalen composers

Songs of Angels: Music by Magdalen composers
ID: SIGCD038
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: Sacred MusicSubkolektion: Choir

18.00 eur Buy

Piangete: Motets and Cantatas by Carissimi

Piangete: Motets and Cantatas by Carissimi
ID: SIGCD040
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Kolektion: Choral CollectionSubkolektion: Choir

Signum Records is delighted to announce that the ensemble Concerto delle Donne will release their first disc on Signum Records in 2003. The disc will feature the cantatas and motets of Giacomo Carissimi.

Carissimi is sometimes thought of as a "one-work composer" known to the average music-lover only for his oratorio Jephte. Choral Societies looking for 17th century music earlier than Purcell are therefore likely to choose Jephte.

Alastair Ross first became interested in Carissimi’s music for the 3-soprano Concerto delle Donne line-up when he was asked to prepare a programme “Handel and his predecessors in Italy” for the 1977 Göttingen Festival. A review of Carissimi's oeuvre showed that there were several pieces by Carissimi in the library of Christ Church Oxford just waiting to be performed by the group! He chose the cantata Siam tre miseri piangenti which has become a regular item in their concerts and which is central to this recording. It’s a marvellous piece, full of pain, suffering and anger. The three voices really are equal in the way they intertwine and react to one another. Donna Deam’s solo Piangete and Gill Ross' and Elin Thomas’s duet Ahi, non torna are similar in mood. Maybe in our cynical 21st century we find it difficult to relate to these highly emotional, self-obsessed, texts, but there’s no denying that they inspired some wonderful music! Va dimanda al mio pensiero’ and Si dia bando, alla speranza are lighter in mood - both attractive, tuneful pieces.

There is plenty of variety in the church music as well. Cum reverteretur David, which begins the CD, is brilliant and virtuosic, a dramatic account of the rivalry between David and Saul. The duet Exulta, gaude, filia Sion is a joyful celebration of Christmas. In Benedictus Deus et Pater the voices weave rich dissonances to convey the suffering of the text; there’s something of the mood of Allegri’s Miserere here.

In addition to the vocal pieces the disc includes a set of variations by Frescobaldi and Michelangelo Rossi’s flamboyant and chromatic Toccata Settima for harpsichord, together with Kapspereger’s charming improvisations for chittarone.

We believe that only one of the Carissimi pieces on this CD, Exulta, gaude, filia Sion, has been recorded before, so the disc will be an important event in the recorded-music world, and one which we hope will revive interest in this unjustly neglected composer.
18.00 eur Buy
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